You owe it to yourself to be hopeful. It’s fair to say we’ve all been through some tough times in life. We did not come this far only to stop here. We owe it to ourselves to see all of this through; to persevere and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. We are meant to succeed. We did not gain all these past experiences and life lessons in order to give up at the end. You owe it to yourself to keep going. You’ll be happy you did — that is real success.
TThe Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place. As a part of my series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tania Cazin, creator of the 12-step Stalwart Selling System™ and owner of Stalwart Sales Training & Consulting. Selling since 1989, she has a commission only and a one-call-close selling background. Tania has over two decades of training by top sales trainers, psychologists, philosophers, and personal development coaches. With her 12-Step Stalwart Selling System™, she built her sales career to a 90% closing ratio and now teaches those in technology, advertising, financial, medical, retail and other vertical markets to do the same.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I didn’t find my career, it found me. I was just seven years old, selling newspapers door-to-door. Something clicked. I loved finding out what people needed and helping them to get it — and getting paid for it! I started selling anything I could get my hands on. I sold the gum from my toy bubble gum machine. I sold my school snacks out of my lunch box. Sold candy from my mom’s hidden stash. I broke records in school fundraising. I joined a kid sales club before I was ten years old. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I bought and sold anything I could get my hands on. Remember the Beanie Baby craze? I bought them as soon as they came out, and sold them for a substantial profit. My professional sales career began when I was seventeen; I built a career selling straight commission. With real-life sales experience and countless hours of training myself, I built my closing ratio to 90%! People noticed. They started asking me how I was doing it. After helping out a few people, I realized how fun and invigorating it was to help others do what I do. I soon started my company, Stalwart Sales Training and Consulting and started teaching the system I created and used back then — my 12-Step Stalwart Selling System™.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Thank you for asking! My YouTube show: Stalwart Selling TV is currently in the works. I help sales professionals sell more in less time by answering their toughest sales questions. Reps send in their sales question (by video) for a chance to be featured on the show. When they are selected, we feature their video and answer their questions with tips and techniques from my proven 12-Step Stalwart Sales System.™ This system has helped my clients increase their revenue by up to 700% in a short amount of time. This show will be a great refresher for some and an opportunity for others to learn new skills that will help them sell more in less time and put more money in their pocket.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes! No one that I know of succeeds on their own. There are three that come to mind who I have worked with personally along the way: Craig, Jerry, and Thomas. Craig was my boss when I started selling advertising at twenty years old. In my book, he’s the best salesman in the world. He was the first to teach me the art of one-call-closes; where you close the sale on the first appointment. He is one of the reasons why I’ve been able to help so many companies increase their closing ratio and shorten their sales cycle. Then there was Jerry; my other boss who I was just as lucky to have worked with. He is a highly successful salesman and entrepreneur, but no matter how busy he was, he always took the time to help me when I needed him. Last but not least, Thomas, my favorite creative genius. I am a better speaker, writer and teacher today because of him. He has taught me so much in the world of published and stage communication. Craig, Jerry and Thomas believed in me — sometimes more than I ever believed in myself.
Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
I don’t think the pandemic disadvantages me as a female any more than it does men. I’ve always believed we make our own opportunities along the way. I don’t have children, so am not addressing this question with regard to those who have the challenges of daycare/homeschooling/children/etc. In the crash of 2008, as a self-employed, commission-only salesperson, I learned that tough times are opportunities to be creative — to think outside of the box — to actually ignore the box as if it simply doesn’t exist. It is a time to innovate. Some have survived; some have actually thrived during this time. Even though challenges are good for us, it is hard to see others suffer. It is tough to see companies go out of business, to see some of my clients struggle and to see some sales people get furloughed or just not be able to do business as usual. My biggest challenge was when they shut everything down. It affected me greatly since life, as we have known it, is no longer — and may never be the same. As someone who consistently uses the gym, that was the toughest part for me. My health has always been top priority and as an avid swimmer, it was difficult to find a place to swim. What does this have to do with work challenges? Staying in good physical health is not only good for the body, it is good for the mind. During this pandemic, we must remember that physical and mental health — stimulated by regular exercise — is important to success.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Yes. I got back to basics; back to seeing what clients and friends need — no matter what it might be. Listen, really listen and see what I could do to help them out. Finding needs and filling them — continuing to help others be better in the business of selling. It also means going back to who and what I was — what I enjoy; reading my books, getting outdoors, going for walks, riding my bike. I’ve gotten back to enjoying the simple things in life: good food, good friends, good fun.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
Human connection is a basic need and especially important for those living and working alone. It’s important that we stay connected with other human beings. We need to do that safely, yes, and we need to be smart in how we do so, but we need to do it. If we are sick or not feeling well, we should stay home and away from others. But if we are healthy and well, it is okay to visit friends and family. We need to mingle, have a good time — as long as we maintain good health practices. We create healthy endorphins when we are happy, smiling, laughing and connecting with others. Netflix can only do so much for us. As for sheltering in place with family members, no matter how much we love each other, we occasionally need a little bit of time to miss each other, even if it’s just for an hour or so.Go for a walk, take a bike ride, do something outside of the house. Getting fresh air and sunshine is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
1. People are watching you more than you realize. It could be a family member, a child, or even a stranger who notices you every day and appreciates your consistency, hard work and good attitude. You could be the reason why they are pushing through all of this, why they are persevering and not quitting. You may be the example they need. You must keep going, not just for you, but for those who may be watching.
2. You owe it to yourself to be hopeful. It’s fair to say we’ve all been through some tough times in life. We did not come this far only to stop here. We owe it to ourselves to see all of this through; to persevere and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. We are meant to succeed. We did not gain all these past experiences and life lessons in order to give up at the end. You owe it to yourself to keep going. You’ll be happy you did — that is real success.
3. Another reason to stay hopeful is because difficult times like this are, whether by accident or design, the best time to sharpen our skills and learn new skills. Tough times are opportunities to get creative. How do we start the creative process? Stop and think. Dream. Imagine. As we brainstorm, new ideas will come to us; ideas that allow new growth, increased revenue, and greater success — not in spite of the difficulties we face, but because of them.
4. Tough times are opportunities to grow. Instead of asking “why is this happening to me,” ask yourself, “yes, really, WHY is this happening to me? What can I learn from this? Every cloud may not have a silver lining but this one does! When everything started to shut down — well, it was very tough on me and everyone around me. We have never experienced anything like it. We have also likely never experienced a greater opportunity for personal growth. We aren’t given courage; we are given the opportunity to develop courage. We aren’t given patience; we are given the opportunity to learn patience. These challenging times give us the opportunity to get one more step (or a dozen steps) closer to being who we are meant to be.
5. It’s important to remain hopeful because in the end, everything passes. We know that. Many of us are waking up. Our eyes have been open. I think we will all move forward recognizing and supporting causes that we never actually focused on before. We will make better and more educated decisions for ourselves and our families as we press forward with courage, continue on with a positive attitude, and eventually get past this pandemic.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
The best thing we can do is encourage them to ask questions. Just like the two-year-old who constantly asks, “Why?” If we dig deep enough, everything has an answer. Share information and encourage them to search for as much information as possible. The difference between the fearful and the fearless is knowledge — information — understanding. Knowledge is power and the more knowledge we have, the more educated and wiser decisions we can make; and the more confident we are to move forward productively and profitably with our lives.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” This is a quotation from Morrie; from the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. Reading and reporting on this book was a college assignment that at the age of seventeen, changed my life forever. After reading this book, I read many other books related to death and dying so that I could understand death and what dying people wanted us to know while we still had time. What I learned during this pandemic, is that while most people are trying to escape death, we cannot escape the inevitable. As unfortunate as death is, it’s a deal we made when we were born. No matter who you are or how much good you do on this earth, nobody makes it out alive. This book, and this quotation, taught me to make the best of my days and the best of my life. This universal brush with death we are experiencing as a world population gives us the opportunity to think about our mortality now, so that when our day comes, we will have really lived and won’t be on our death bed saying “Wait! I forgot to…” Or “Dang! I coulda’, woulda’, shoulda’…”
How can our readers follow you online?
Are you a sales professional looking to sell more in less time — even during these difficult times — especially during these difficult times? Visit me at StalwartSales.com. If you would like to be featured on Stalwart Selling TV, click on the video tab on the site for details. You can also follow me on LinkedIn, on Instagram @TaniaCazin and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TaniaCazin/community/.