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Tips for sales are really tips for life

I start reading the book, and its words transform me.

My basketball shoes turn into ancient wooden sandals. My T-shirt and jeans become a kimono, and suddenly I am a samurai, ready to slay all the obstacles that stand between me and success.

And I'm not even in sales.

That's the inspirational effect that Tye Maner's new book, Forget Patience: Let's Sell Something, has on many of its readers. Maner, a nationally renowned business consultant and motivational speaker, has delivered his sales world insight to an array of Fortune 500 companies for the past 10 years while working out of his home in Riverview.

Now, as he prepares to open an office in Riverview, his book is drawing raves. Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy and Colliers Arnold chief executive officer Lee Arnold are among those who have endorsed the guide.

"I've had all kinds of people who bought the book," Maner said of his self-published effort. "Teachers, ministers. I'm amazed at the people from different walks of life who have gotten something out of the book."

Forget Patience: Let's Sell Something is designed to equip sales and business professionals with the tools needed to gain clients and be more productive. Of course, one of those tools is a positive attitude, and it's that skill everyone finds useful.

"Life does not care about the attitude we choose, for our life is only a mirror that reflects who we really are by our actions, more so than our words," Maner writes. "Get fired up about life and its opportunities, or you'll be hosed down by life and its obstacles."

The book is about more than just getting fired up, however. Maner cautions that the positive attitude has to be accompanied with positive actions. Attitude

+ Action = Altitude.

In the book, he offers a number of strategies and actions people can implement with a plain-speaking approach.

The advice deals with a number of facets: cold calls, time management, setting goals and dealing with fears. One section not only talks about overcoming the fear of failure, but, interestingly, the fear of success.

"This type of salesperson is concerned that if they excel, then they are expected to perform at a higher level on a consistent basis," Maner writes. "Their success brings with it added pressure to continue to exceed their goals, or to be a leader.

"Therefore, it is safer to stay below the surface of excellence."

Anyone who knows he is staying below the surface of excellence can't help but want to push himself higher after reading those words. This book doesn't just kick butt, it kicks you in the butt.

In the call to action, Maner relies on every tool he has acquired since he started as a Lanier Copier salesman more than 20 years ago in rural South Georgia. The challenge of making cold calls in that region back then was fraught with racism, but Maner eventually rose to become one of Lanier's top salespeople.

The personal experiences, tips learned from others and even lessons gathered from animal behavior studies and children's fables are used to streamline the information and make for a fun read. It's available at Amazon.com and www.tmanerassoc.com.

Although Maner has sold more than 1,000 copies since the book debuted in October, he doesn't claim to have all the answers. He continues to read and gather information to help his own business and continues to look for ways to expand and grow. Lately, he has been searching for people who can replicate his seminars and workshops as he moves to the next level.

Maner laughs and says he doesn't want a "Mini-Me" version of himself, but he also isn't interested in the perfect sales representative.

"I have people come in and tell me they have never failed, that they are the master of sales," Maner explained. "I tell them congratulations, but I can't use you.

"I'm looking for people who have been successful, failed and been successful again. If they haven't tasted failure, they can't relate to what the people in the class are going through. They won't be empathetic enough."

Underneath all of the solid advice and urges to address challenges, Maner has a real passion for helping others. You have to like a motivator who draws motivation not from money, but the knowledge he is impacting lives.

That's all I'm saying.

Ernest Hooper can be reached at (813) 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com.

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