As the saying goes, “A house is only as strong as its foundation.” It takes a strong foundation to ensure sales success. Following are the six high-achievement ingredients necessary to build that strong foundation.
Ingredient 1 for high achievement: Be in sales for the right reasons.
The first thing I look for in a potential new sales rep is people skills. In order to have long-term success and become a top achiever, you must be able to understand and communicate with people while also having a great capacity for empathy. Genuine caring and a desire to serve and help people is a must. In addition, one must also have a burning desire to succeed. A desire to make a lot of money is a good place to start. But it’s also important to know why making a lot of money is important. These reasons should be ones that enhance both the life of the salesperson as well as the lives of those around them and the world as a whole.
Ingredient 2 for high achievement: The right attitude and beliefs.
What is your daily attitude like? Do you always see solutions when you face problems? Do you stay positive in the face of all challenges? Looking for the positive side of a situation is a habit, and, like most good habits, it can be developed. I’m not saying you need to have a smile on your face 24/7 and believe issues never arise in life. What I am saying is: Don’t allow yourself to go to the other extreme of complete negativity and get overwhelmed to the point where you can’t act. When you see a tough situation, recognize it, try to find some positives, keep a good attitude, and ultimately resolve the situation as quickly as possible. What is your motivation level? You need to be highly motivated and ready to work as hard as you have to in order to reach the top and remain there.
How about self-confidence? To get to the top in selling requires high self-confidence and high self-esteem. Are you a self-starter or do you need someone to give you a push? To get to the top in sales, you must be a self-starter. You must be motivated from within rather than needing someone to keep pushing you or keep you driven to succeed. To get to the top, you must also be a consummate professional and exude integrity—at all times. Finally, do you see yourself as a person who is completely responsible for your life and what happens in it? This kind of responsibility is the cornerstone needed for great achievement.
Ingredient 3 for high achievement: A willingness to pay the price for success.
How far are you willing to go in order to be successful? There is a price for success and top salespeople have chosen to pay it. Are you willing to do whatever it takes, ethically, to get to and stay at the top?
Ingredient 4 for high achievement: “Hanging out” with the right people.
Who do you hang around with and where are they going? You must hang around with successful people who are growing personally and professionally and who support your goals and dreams. Birds of a feather do flock together, and the wrong group of people can drag you down quickly. This doesn’t mean you need to immediately discard your friends and family if they aren’t completely supportive of you. However, as you progress toward your goals, you may find yourself gathering a new, different group of friends and hanging out with certain negative people less often. Let friends and family know the track you’re on and ask them to help or even to join you in the adventure.
Ingredient 5 for high achievement: Good health.
How is your health? It isn’t possible to operate at your highest levels both mentally and physically if your health isn’t good. If you are tired, run down, or frequently ill, you will not be motivated, and you will not perform well. You need to get plenty of sleep, eat properly, and exercise on a regular basis in order to be a consistently top salesperson. Good health also includes your overall mental condition. While sleeping, exercising, and eating right will help your mental state, you must also develop the ability to handle stress, unexpected problems, and other similarly negative things that may affect your emotions.
Ingredient 6 for high achievement: A life with balance and growth.
While the beginning of your sales career, or a new job, will be heavily weighted toward your career for the first three to five years, you don’t want to go all-in on your career at the expense of everything else. You must still make time for health, the people in your life, and other things that are important to you. Considering you have 168 hours in a week, there is time to spend 70 hours, or more, at work, and still take care of the other areas your life. But it’s going to require that you be a master of your time. For short periods, you can devote an inordinate amount of time to one area of your life and neglect the others. However, if you do that for too long, your attitude will suffer tremendously, along with your health and relationships. You may not get to each area every day, but in the course of a week, be sure each area of your life is getting its share of attention. Finally, you must be passionate about what you are doing, and you must always be growing personally and professionally.
The six ingredients above are necessary for consistent, long-term top performance. If you don’t have these six essential ingredients in place, you will face some daunting challenges. The good news is that all of these ingredients can be learned. Granted, few of them are mastered easily if you haven’t already developed them. However, if you are truly committed to becoming a top salesperson, you can develop them. There is always hope.