By Gene Fresco

Years ago, when I was honorably discharged from the Air Force, I pondered what my career would be in civilian life. I read an article that said the three highest-paying careers were doctor, salesman and lawyer.

Well, I didn’t have a medical degree and I didn’t have a law degree. So, I decided I would become a salesman. I decided to take a class in salesmanship.

On the first day, the instructor picked me to go to the front of the room and lead the class in a cheer.

We all shouted, “Boy, am I enthusiastic!” We did that every day at the beginning of the class.

Our instructor knew the importance of enthusiasm, and that you can’t be a successful salesperson without it.

The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greeks. It literally means “God within.” When they saw a person excited, they thought he or she was possessed by a god.

They thought Apollo was possessed by a god because of his zeal for his religion.

Here’s what men smarter than me have to say about enthusiasm.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every person is enthusiastic at times. One person has enthusiasm for 30 minutes; another person has it for 30 days, but it is the person who has it for 30 years who makes a success of life.” —Edward Butler George

“Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.” —Norman Vincent Peale

Time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself this: “Am I enthusiastic in my job?” If the answer is no, then you might have to seek a new career field.

If the answer is yes, then you have to demonstrate it every day.

Not just once in a while or sometimes…every day!

You probably believe that people don’t know what you are thinking. Well…wrong!

They know what you are thinking by your posture, your facial expressions, the tone of your voice, etc.

If customers come into your store and it takes five minutes to greet them, and you are slouched at your desk and ask them, “What do you want?”, they know you hate your job. They know you would rather be somewhere else and you don’t care that they came into your store.

On the other hand, if you jump off your seat, walk briskly to them and say, “Welcome to our store. My name is Gene. What’s yours?”, they’ll know you love your job.

They’ll know you’re happy to be there and you really are glad to meet them and help them.

That’s what enthusiasm is. It makes you want to succeed. It makes you want to be the best salesperson you can be.

I have been enthusiastic about the music industry all my adult life. I think it is a great service that I provide, and it has led to great enjoyment and, sometimes, great careers for some of the customers I have helped.

That is what you must believe to be enthusiastic about the service you provide.

If you are a clock-watcher and can’t wait to go home, then you are not enthusiastic about your job.

I have always hated the clock because it has kept me from getting more done.

I have talked about the subconscious mind and how you can tell it something and it will believe it.

I want you to practice looking in the mirror every morning and yelling, “Boy, am I enthusiastic!”

Do this every day and, after a few weeks, write me and tell me if it has made you more enthusiastic. I know it worked for me.

I have met and worked with many men and women who I knew were enthusiastic about their jobs and careers.

As a rep, I would attend the company meetings and, I’m sorry to say, most of them were boring, tedious and not very informative. They were what I called “nuts and bolts” stuff.

Later in the evening, I would have a meeting in my hotel room and the salespeople who came to them were enthusiastic. They weren’t clock-watchers.

We would explore the “sizzle” in the products we sold, not the “nuts and bolts.”

I have always said selling is 90 percent attitude.

Instead of saying you have to have a “positive attitude,” I’m going to say you have to have an “enthusiastic attitude.”

Love what you do and do it with love.

Really want to help people; really want to be a success in life. A person’s life is well lived if he or she is happy in his or her career and has a happy relationship.

The only way we can compete in this “viral world” in which we live is to give people more for their money. Make them realize an instrument needs maintenance and service. Have teachers who will make musicians of people. Let them know you appreciate their business and will be on call when they need you.

Enthusiasm is contagious. If you are enthusiastic, then your customer will be enthusiastic about buying a product from you and taking lessons so he or she can be successful in his or her hobby or career.

This is the problem in our industry today: It’s all about money. Of course, we are in the music business to make money. But, if you think the only way to close a sale is by offering the cheapest price, rather than by going the extra mile to make a friend of your customer and giving him or her the most service, then you’re wrong. If you see the customer as just another sales slip in the cash register, then you are definitely not enthusiastic about the music business.

I wish you good selling.

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