Partners in Performance Blog

The Selling Mindset: What one man taught me and how it changed my life…


selling mindset

Every once in a while something happens that changes your life forever. Here’s what one man taught me that formed my selling mindset. I learned that the right selling mindset is the fastest way to produce sales results.

In the early 90’s, Al Kupcis was President and CEO of what was then Ontario Hydro. He led the company through an intense period of deregulation and massive change including downsizing, reorganization and restructuring. Al Kupcis has no idea how much my one meeting with him changed my mindset about selling and ultimately my professional life.

I was working for a small boutique change management company called Outcomes that targeted Fortune 500 companies going through change. There was no tangible product – just a powerful process with a high ticket selling price. Fortunately, I was a big believer in this service because I was on 100% commission and would have gone nowhere without the passion I felt.

A pivotal moment came after I had been at it for about 4 months and did a reality check. 

  • Yes, I had a lot of prospects in the funnel. 
  • I proudly reported my sales activity every week – phone calls, face to face meetings, marketing events with many prospect companies including Ontario Hydro.
  • But no sales…or at least not enough. 

Transforming Sales Activity Into Sales Results

If I wanted to stay in the game, I knew I had to create bigger sales and do it FAST. Time was running out.

So far, I’d been doing all the “right things” I’d been taught about selling but without great results. Something else had to change. I had to change. I needed to shift to a results focused selling mindset.

When I asked myself, “What are the 3 or 4 companies that will give me the biggest bang in the shortest amount of time?” Ontario Hydro was the one that fit the bill.

So on a Thursday afternoon, I made a bold decision and bravely called Al Kupcis, the President & CEO. And guess what? After talking briefly to his assistant she put him on the phone. I introduced myself and asked for a meeting. Did he agree? No, not at first.

He told me he was the wrong person and that I needed to meet with the heads of each of his business units, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.

I could have ended the call with that rejection, said thank you and that would have been that.  But my strong intention to meet with Al Kupcis kicked in. I told him I STILL wanted to meet with him and must have given a pretty good reason why because the next morning at 9 a.m. I found myself sitting in his corner office.

At the end of that meeting he gave me a contact sheet for his senior executive team including pictures and contact information for each person. Best of all he gave me his blessing to use his name.

My meeting with Al Kupcis shifted everything. Almost immediately, I started to produce incredible sales results and enjoyed a very long ride with many different divisions, helping them navigate the seas of change.

In my next blog post, I’ll reflect on what it was in that initial phone call that made a big difference and changed my selling mindset forever. Stay tuned…!


This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on October 8, 2013 in Intentional Selling™, Sales Skills, Sales Strategy, Selling Cycle, Success Mindset. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

3 Responses to “The Selling Mindset: What one man taught me and how it changed my life…”

  1. Sandy says:

    Love the energy behind your “strong intention” plus your cliff hanger end.
    It feels as if that little engine that got born is still fueling your train. All aboard!

    • Tanja Parsley says:

      Thanks for your comment Sandy. Yes when there is high intention, energy and passion are close at hand. It amazes me that I met with Al Kupcis more than 12 years ago and yet here I am still telling the story and my lessons learned.

  2. Tom Ramar says:

    High energy and focus is certainly important. For me, becoming a better listener helped to close more sales. By better understanding the customers problems/challenges, I am able to deliver a greater solution to relieve that pain. After all, that’s why our customers even consider us; To bring value to their lives.

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