Here's a sales secret. The best advice I ever got was from my father. Growing up as a kid, whenever I asked him, "What do you think I should do," he always responded with, "What do you think you should do?"

I guess the best advice wasn't really advice, more like a gift. The gift of learning how to make my own decisions.

The following were excerpted from the May 12th issue of Fortune Magazine.

Michael Bloomberg - Mayor of NYC. "The advice was, first, always ask for the order, and second, when the customer says yes, stop talking."

Mark Hurd - CEO Hewlett Packard. "An NCR executive was giving a presentation. He had great slides and an even better delivery. The CEO, Chuck Exley, listened to the entire presentation. At the conclusion, he nodded and said something brief but profound: "Good story, but it's hard to look smart with bad numbers."

Indra Nooyi - CEO Pepsico. "My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different."

Sam Palmisano - CEO IBM. "Some of the best advice I ever received was unspoken. Over the course of my IBM career I've observed many CEO's, heads of state, and others in positions of great authority. I've noticed that some of the most effective leaders don't make themselves the center of attention."

Thomas Murphy - CEO Capital Cities/ABC. "Doing the wrong thing is not worth the loss of one good night's sleep."

Nelson Peltz - CEO Train Fund Management. "Get sales up, and keep expenses down." Now that's a sales secret worth noting!

Charlene Begley - CEO GE Enterprise Solutions. "Jeff Immelt, before he became CEO, gave me this advice: spend a ton of time with your customers."

Bob Iger - CEO Disney. "My father wrote in my sixth grade yearbook quoting Hamlet - Polonius to his son, Laertes: 'To thine own self be true.' I was 12 years old but it had a powerful impression on me then, and I've often thought of it since."

Here's one more sales secret for you. Most advice is easy to give and hard to take. But as you can see from the above, good advice has life-long staying power.

Here's a sales secret you can take to the bank if you're willing to accept it. Read. Read a lot. You will become what you read.

If you out-read your competitors you will surely out-smart them.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Meisenheimer shows salespeople how to increase sales using no-brainer selling skills.

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