A statement to be repeated…

When it comes to decision-making, one of my core beliefs is that people need a reason to make a decision. In sales, we are taught that, there is always someone selling and someone buying. Whether this sale will result in the exchange of money for a product/service OR just the exchange of ideas. That’s where we get the saying, “I bought into that.” The speaker was sold on an idea. There is always a seller and buyer.

One of the greatest examples of sales is the pursuit of matrimony. All of the elements are there… the buyer, the seller, the product/service/idea, and the commitment to the thing. Both parties know that this will be a long-term arrangement and the suitor will play their cards appropriately. The end result being the walk down the aisle, an exchange of rings and “I do’s”, and the proclamation of, “I pronounce you husband and wife.”

The key to selling anything isn’t about the seller doing all of the talking. We need to allow the potential buyer speak, the buyer HAS to speak. Non-verbal communication is one thing but, it can be misleading. You NEED to hear what is on your prospect’s mind. They MUST tell you what they’re thinking. How do I sell you on a life together in an Oceanside Cottage and you’d rather live in Nevada? Your speaking two different languages but, you don’t know that if both aren’t sharing. Many times, as salespeople, we get, what my mother-in-law used to call, “the run-offs”. We are so in to sharing our thoughts that we get diarrhea of the mouth and just go on and on and on. Let the person speak… One word from them may tell you that you’re headed in the wrong direction and you need to reroute.

Did you know that the biggest part of sales isn’t the sale itself? About 95% of the sale isn’t what we call the sales process… it is marketing. Marketing is the true meat and potatoes of your sale. How many times have you seen a commercial and at the very end of that commercial you realized that what you thought was the product and what the product actually was… it was two different things. Marketing should encompass the full spectrum of what the prospect is wants, needs, or desires AND how these areas will be met. In marital pursuit, one may show their value vs. the other ‘options’ out there, or how their interest in, or love for, the person is special and how it is different from others, or they will draw that picture of how wonderful life will be when they’ve come together. Guess what? It’s all marketing.

Finally, there is pain. Many times people will not make a decision because they haven’t been in enough pain, yet. What do you mean, Jackie? Here’s the cold hard truth. When I sold insurance, I would sometimes hear that killer phrase, “I want to think about it.” All this statement means is that I’m really not ready to do buy what you’re selling. But, the moment that they get that unwelcome message from their doctor, or get into that accident, or they are starting to “feel a little funny”… then they are Johnny on the spot to make that deal, no matter what the costs are. A person won’t be sold on marriage if they’d rather be single. The pain in this instance is being sick and tired of being unmarried and understanding that the opportunities don’t come around everyday to fix that issue.

The funny thing about the whole sales process is this one little thing… it all depends on the buyer. Some need to go thru the entire process whereas others will jump on the opportunity immediately. People are different and that adventure is what makes it worth the trip…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,




March 9th

It was Saturday morning, 17 years ago…

The day has finally arrived. Debbie and I are getting ready to travel from Oberlin, OH to Columbus, OH. The excitement is in the air. We’re going to finally do it, again. Again? Yes, we are going to do it again. We tried to do it before on February 14th but, words got in the way.

Did you know that one of the most powerful forces on the earth is the power of your confession? Words have the power to bring life or bring death. We have to be ever so careful about what we speak. I say this because on February 14th we were going to do this and it didn’t happen because of a negative confession.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, Debbie was just getting out of school. She was so excited. We were going to complete this thing today. We were going to pull the trigger. We’re going to do it!! The only thing that can stop us now is a flat tire!!!! Guess what happened, immediately after she said that? You guessed it… a flat tire!!! The hardest phone call that she could make was the one that followed. With broken heart and eyes filled with tears, I listened to her quivering voice as she relayed the latest happenings. She apologized profusely. It was okay. I wasn’t mad. I was just glad that she wasn’t hurt. She had a blowout on the freeway going 60+ miles an hour. Her tire was shredded. God had her covered and for this I was happy.

But, March 9, 1996, we go to pickup her parents for our trip to Columbus. We had to have the whole family there. This thing is for real and we wanted everyone to be a part. Uh-oh!! Why aren’t her parents dressed? It’s time to go. We still have another 2 hours before we even get to Columbus and we still need to eat!!! Why are they trippin’? Today ain’t about them!! We already discussed this… Oh well, they’ve made their decision not to hang with us today. This ride to Columbus just made a HUGE shift!!!

We arrive at my parent’s house in Columbus. Where did all of these people come from? I know that we wanted everyone to be involved but this is a bit too much. Debbie goes upstairs to change clothes and I’m in the basement getting ready. Jermaine and I just finished conspiring about a song that I’m going to do. All is ready…

I look around my parent’s living room and Bishop Steele, Aunt Olivia, my cousin Sandra from Milwaukee and her pastor, my parents and others are all here. The brightness from all the smiles is starting to hurt my eyes. I need my sunglasses on!! I’ll sure be glad when Debbie comes downstairs. Everyone is waiting for her, as usual!!! :-)

Finally, here she comes!!! She has on a cream colored 2-piece suit, just beautiful. I look at Jermaine and he starts playing that song we were talking about… Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley. I serenade her, in front of everybody!!! You see, at this point, I don’t care what anyone thinks about it because they are going to be seeing a whole lot more of her. The thing that I didn’t tell you was that today is our Wedding Day.

My life hasn’t been the same since that day. It all began with a simple proclamation that started powerful and wonderful journey. That proclamation was, “I, Jackie Smith Jr. take you Deborah Jayne Colbert to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live.”
This journey has been full of ups and downs. I’ve been a great husband. I’ve been an… let’s just say an un-great husband. But, one thing hasn’t changed…

Debbie Jayne, I love you. I am honored to your husband and my life wouldn’t be the same without you. Happy Anniversary!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,