Max Chernoff’s Lessons From Mom Suzan Zimmerman: “People Won’t Believe In Your Product Unless They Believe In You”

Max Chernoff

Max Chernoff

WashingtonExec asked top area executives the simple question: “If you could give your kids only three pieces of advice, what would they be?”

Today marks the launch of WashingtonExec’s new series with the children of participating executives…did they actually take the advice?

Meet Max Chernoff, Junior at Langley High School and son of Suzan Zimmerman, Senior Vice President of QineitQ North America. Zimmerman’s advice was, “Your Handshake Becomes your Signature.” Read Zimmerman’s full advice here.

Max Chernoff’s takeaways:

Having just returned from competing in the Virginia State DECA marketing competition, with the offer to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah and represent Langley High School for the Advertising Campaign Event at the international level, I attribute all of my success in personal selling to my mother, Suzan Zimmerman, and the advice she has given me over the years.

Without a doubt, the most important trait she instilled in me was that of self-confidence.  My mother did not simply tell me, “Max, the key to success is confidence,” she instead led by example.  Although only 5’5”, she is the definition of an empowered woman, as seen by her astronomical success in a field dominated wholly by men.  Thanks to my mother I am always completely confident in my ability to perform and act calmly under pressure, especially when dealing with high-powered businesspeople, albeit in the shadow of my mother.  The first thing people sense, whether meeting you for the first time or the fiftieth time, is how much you believe in yourself. If you walk into a sales call thinking you can’t handle the pressure then you will not be able to handle it, but if you walk into a sales call thinking that you will succeed then you have already sold yourself to the client; 75 percent of the sale.  After you have sold your personality to your customer, selling your product is a snap, because unlike your persona, products have quantifiable and tangible benefits to the customer.

Only after understanding and implementing the idea of self-confidence can one truly begin to take my mother’s advice of integrity, honesty, and graciousness to heart.  These three ideas are the cornerstones of success in business and in life in general.  However, without having confidence in yourself, people will not see the integrity, honesty, or graciousness you present.  Instead all they will see is someone afraid of them, and therefore will not be able take your actions at face value.  Without having confidence in yourself you might as well walk away from the sale before you ever meet the client.  After all, people won’t believe in your product unless they believe in you.





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