9 June 2017

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Some of you already know I worked in a bank for many years — including a stint as the Head of Training, Education and Development for Westpac.

During that time I met Robert E Johnson , ( Bob Johnson).

Bob was the General Manager of the Dale Carnegie organisation in Greenville, South Carolina (USA). He was a Master Sales Trainer and an excellent Salesman.

I decided then and there I wanted to be like Bob. I decided that my future was in Sales.

I realised I love selling because it allows me to be creative and help solve real business problems. It challenges me to help people get from where they are to where they want to go — to do what they want to do, to have what they want to have — and be who they want to be.

Once I realised my future was in the sales profession, I began to study the discipline seriously.

At first, I studied so that I could become more professional and successful as a salesperson. After that, I studied so I could become a more effective leader of sales forces — a sales manager.

Now I study so that I can help other sales people and leaders improve their performance and the performance of their sales teams.

I’ve become a Master Sales Trainer under Bob’s tutelage and as of this writing; I’ve been studying sales for more than three and half decades.

From the very moment I began in sales, I’ve been seeking the answer to a single, central question: Why do a few highly successful salespeople (and this includes business people and 99% of the professional people I work with), why do they consistently outperform their peers?

There are, at this very moment, people at incredibly hot companies like Apple or Google, who aren’t making their quotas. And there are countless salespeople selling boring industrial equipment who are crushing their numbers even though you’ve never heard of their companies or products.

So I ask again: Why do a few highly successful salespeople consistently outperform their peers?

The answer isn’t what you might expect.

Success in sales isn’t situational.

In other words it isn’t based on the product you sell, your customer accounts, or your territory. It doesn’t depend on the sales process you use or your company’s sales managers. While it helps to have an excellent product, a sound sales process, fast-growing accounts, new territories to explore, and good leaders and managers — this does not answer the question.

Sales success isn’t situational — it’s individual.

Sales success resides in you. You pick up the phone and call a prospective customer/client with another new idea, even after being rejected a dozen times before. You sit face-to-face with the client and create value. You muster the support needed to ensure the client can capture that value.

Nothing carries as much weight in the sales ‘equation’ as you do.

Having said that successful salespeople exhibit a range of desirable skills and habits and there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest and I’ll share that with you next time we talk.

Until then…

Good Luck and (always) Good Selling

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