Okay, I’m going to say something that might sound like bragging, but it isn’t:
Audiences see me do this at virtually every live program and they laugh, nod their head, and tell me afterwards how I “sound more like Zig than Zig himself.”
But, I’m not bragging.
The reason I’m able to do this is because – early in my sales career – while attending a Zig Ziglar live event I bought one of his six-cassette tape packages and listened to all of them again and again and again and…well, you get the picture. After a while, I could pretty much recite the entire program and sound like Zig while doing it.
One of his vignettes in particular was the answer to a huge challenge I had been facing during my sales presentations and ended up helping me serve a lot more people and, in the process, make a lot more money.
However, when utilizing Zig’s teaching during my actual sales presentations, I didn’t do my Zig impersonation. I didn’t sound like him, move like him or in any way try and “be” Zig Ziglar.
I utilized his amazing teaching. I even used many of his exact words and phrases. But I didn’t do it as a clone of Zig. I did it as me.
Had I tried to be Zig, I would have failed miserably. Why? Because I’m not Zig. I’m me. I also learned a ton from Tom Hopkins, author of the classic, How to Master the Art of Selling. I pretty much memorized his teachings word for word and utilized them the same way I utilized Zig’s. But I never tried to “be” Tom Hopkins. It wouldn’t have worked. After all, I’m not Tom, I’m just little ol’ me.
Hence, the title of this article; Adapt…Don’t Adopt.
In other words, choose those from whom you wish to learn; whether it’s an overall system, a process, a skill set, etc. Then, adapt their teachings, implement their instruction, learn it to the point that it actually becomes a part of you. A part of you, but not actually you.