How Overcoming Objections Got Me into Syracuse


by Brandon Steiner March 20, 2013 0 Comments

Overcoming objections is a necessary part of chasing your goals.

A little story:

Some of you know I met my wife Mara at summer camp while we were both teens (we reconnected in our 20s). Well, we dated during high school, even though we went to different schools; I went to John Dewey High in Brooklyn; she went to Lawrence High, on Long Island.

One day Mara told me she wanted to go to Brown University for college. I didn’t know much about it; I thought it was an arts school. I hadn’t thought much about college myself.

That night, I asked my mom where she thought I should apply to school. She had two answers.

“You’re an unusual kid who could probably do well without going to college,” she said. “On the other hand, you’d be the first in our family to graduate from college. It could be a great idea. Go see what your guidance counselor has to say.”

So the next day I went to see my guidance counselor, Ms. Winston (I changed her name).

Ms. Winston looked over my grades (all pass/fail, since our school was experimental), my SATS (760 – very low) and my family’s finances (non-existent).

“Maybe you should go to a trade school,” she said. “Maybe a four-year college is not for you.”

I went home very upset. But my mom wouldn’t hear any of it.

“F*ck Ms. Winston,” my mom said. “Get that college guide book with all the schools in it. Find the most expensive school in New York state.”

It turned out to be Syracuse.

“How could I possibly get in there?” I said. “I have no grades, we have no money, my SATs are very low.”

My mom immediately ticked off the things I did have that most kids didn’t: I had worked several jobs since I was little; I was my class’s treasurer; I often took care of my brothers; etc.

My mom added that even our having no money could help, because Syracuse needed a certain number of students on financial aid.

See, my mother never accepted the word “no.” Instead, she always looked for the angles that no one else saw. (She invented the concept of What Else?)

I applied to Syracuse, and when I had my interview there, I sold the woman interviewing me.

I told her, “I know I don’t have grades and my SATs are low, but I’ve been working to make money since I was ten. And I’m my class treasurer. And I take care of my brothers a lot…” I went on and on, listing everything that made me unique. At the end I said, “If you accept me, I’m going to make the best of every inch of this campus. You will never regret it."

Sure enough, I got in. That admissions officer took a chance on me. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Syracuse put me on the path that led to the rest of my life, to my eventual success.

Often, you only need to make one great sale. You only need to capture one game-changer.

So you gotta have the balls to not listen to "no."

But sometimes we get down and we forget that. Sometimes we only hear the “no” and we give up.

Do you let “no” stop you? Or do you keep moving, and selling, and looking for all the other angles?




Brandon Steiner
Brandon Steiner

Author

Brandon Steiner is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, the largest company of its kind in America. Considered a sports marketing guru, Brandon is a permanent fixture in the media as a regular on ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM and as host of "The Hook-Up with Brandon Steiner" on YES Network. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and in newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire, Brandon lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Mara and children Crosby and Nicole.




Also in "What Else?" Blog

To Intern or Not to Intern? Maybe We Need to Slow Down and Let Our Kids Actually Put in Hard Work
To Intern or Not to Intern? Maybe We Need to Slow Down and Let Our Kids Actually Put in Hard Work

by Brandon Steiner April 24, 2017 0 Comments

I worked in a kitchen when I was growing up, 80-90 hours a week, at Camp Sussex. There’s a lot of opportunities like this. Is that work nothing?

Read More

Recreate the Why
Recreate the Why

by Brandon Steiner April 19, 2017 0 Comments

When did you do something for the first time and how great was the feeling?

Read More

20 Seconds of Courage is All You Need
20 Seconds of Courage is All You Need

by Brandon Steiner April 17, 2017 0 Comments

You just need that short burst of “embarrassing bravery” once in a while, at the key moments.

Read More