For the Love of Leasing

by Linda P. Kester November/December 2010
Discouraged by some of the negative connotations associated with being a leasing professional? Linda Kester ends the year with three simple steps on how to rekindle your love affair with leasing. After all, Kester contends, when you fall in love with what you’re selling, you can become much more than a sales rep — you become a force for good.

Some leasing reps refuse to identify themselves as leasing salespeople when they call on a prospect. They say that they are with a “finance” company or a “capital” company. As soon as they use the word leasing they get resistance. Leasing has negative connotations in certain markets because of practices such as evergreen and high fees.

I love leasing. I love helping lessees grow their businesses by getting the equipment they need at a fair rate, and helping them again at the conclusion of the term. One of the reasons I was successful at leasing sales is because I fell in love with leasing and then transferred that love and enthusiasm to the customer. When you fall in love with what you’re selling, you become much more than a sales rep, you become a force for good.

How can you fall in love with leasing? Here are three ways to rekindle the thrill you felt when you first started your career:

Imagine the Best
Imagine feeling really good about what you do. Imagine your vendors being grateful for your leasing services. Imagine your lessees writing you thank you letters because they were so happy that you helped them. Look for the things you love about your job. Criticizing, blaming and complaining is not loving your job. Talk about the things you love about your job. Use positive terminology while speaking about your job and you will be going with the flow and it will become easier for you to carry out your duties. However, if you speak negatively about your job, the opposite will be true. Hating or loving your job has a lot to do with your perspective on it.

You can’t change a negative situation with bad feelings. You cannot fix a problem by condemning it. Getting mad at a customer because he was rude, or getting frustrated with a credit analyst for not approving a deal doesn’t fix anything. To fix a problem you need to be peaceful, practice forgiveness, be generous and visualize yourself as capable of doing a fantastic job.

Put your attention on what you want, not what you don’t want. Then go even further and put your attention on what you can do to bring about what you want. Don’t bother considering what you can’t do because that is a waste of your time and will put you in a bad mood.

“Call it the Second Universal Principle of Excellence,” wrote Russell Gough in Character Is Destiny: The Value of Personal Ethics in Everyday Life. “One does not become excellent at something primarily by focusing on and avoiding what is wrong and bad but by focusing on and pursuing what is right and good.” Or, as Klassy Evans so eloquently puts it, “First water, then weed.”

This is a healthy, constructive and extremely effective way to solve problems.

Be Generous
One way achievement-oriented salespeople can change is to give. Generous people are happy people. Being kind to other people, becoming mentors to new reps and sharing knowledge builds trust and connections with people. This builds real relationships.

Giving can help you reach your full potential. To be the best you can be, you need to be involved in the giving process. If you knew that what you gave would multiply and come back to you, then how much would you give?

Giving can also reduce your fears. That’s because giving promotes social connections, which provides you with greater security. It can make you feel more connected to others, and this connection reduces the feelings of fear and isolation. Author Azim Jamal and Harvey McKinnon write extensively about this subject in The Power of Giving.

The catch is that you must do this work with passion and enthusiasm. If you are not passionate, it is hard to produce good work. You are less likely to feel fulfilled and happy or to believe your work is meaningful. In the end, you will lose energy for the work, leaving you with poor results. In The Power of Giving there is a story of an elderly carpenter who was ready to retire. The carpenter told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, enjoying his extended family. The employer was sorry to see his employee go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor to him. The carpenter reluctantly agreed. He did sloppy work and he used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said. “It is my retirement gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with all leasing salespeople. Every person builds his or her own house, his or her own life, a step at a time, often half-heartedly. Then with a shock they realize they have to live in the house they have built. If they could do it over, they’d do it differently. But they cannot go back.

You are the carpenter; your life is your building project. Your job is part of the project. When you treat others in the way you wish to be treated, you are building with love and care. Always do your best because the choices you make today build your future and the future of our industry.

One very practical way to give is to list charity events on your website. This serves the community, and keeps people coming back to your site.

“A rich life,” writes philosopher and theologian Cornel West, “consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it.” Every one of us can have a rich life if we choose.

Get Involved
Another way to love leasing sales is to sign up for every training course, extracurricular activity and committee that you possibly can. Choose courses or workshops to further your career and keep future job prospects in mind. Having a diverse skill set will ultimately make you more promotable. Some salespeople say: “I’d love to go to a training course, but my company won’t pay for it.” Even if you have to pay for the education out of your own pocket, it’s worth it because you’re investing in yourself.

You can also get involved socially in your company and in the leasing community. Involving yourself socially within your company exposes you to more networking opportunities than would otherwise be available. In social settings, people tend to be more relaxed and some are even more likely to disclose new opportunities, plans or projects. Go to an NAELB regional meeting and make new connections.

Opportunities Are Everywhere — Waiting To Be Seized By You
There are so many opportunities out there. Today is the time to move to the next level. Make that phone call, sign up for that class, help the needy, pursue that goal, pay off that debt, go on that adventure.

Rekindle the thrill you felt when you first began your job. You must have had good reasons for taking it. What were they? Make a list of those reasons, and expect to experience those joys again in your daily routine.

Make a list at the end of every day of what you learned, what was the most fun, who was the most fun to interact with and how you feel you added to your company’s success. Make a list of the “beyond the paycheck” benefits.

There are many realistic ways to keep your job exciting and challenging. Ultimately, your happiness depends on how good you feel about yourself at work and just living everyday. Try doing something nice for your job and yourself. Fall in love all over again!

Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you would like to change the connotations associated with leasing, then take some small steps with your own sales practice that will make the industry better for everyone.

Let’s make our industry better one step at a time by imagining the best, giving more of ourselves, giving in the community and falling in love with our product. Then when you pick up the phone to prospect you can proudly identify yourself as a leasing salesperson.

Linda P. Kester is a bestselling author and professional speaker with 20 years of experience in leasing sales and marketing management. As founder of the Institute of Personal Development, Kester has helped hundreds of salespeople increase their volume. Her book, 366 Marketing Tips for Equipment Leasing, has produced results for leasing companies in the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit

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