Throughout my career, I’ve noticed that the top 10% of professionals all share a passion for what they do. It’s not just that they have a knack for connecting with people and getting them to buy more goods or services more often. They also put a lot of thought into how they sell, how they work with people, and about why their personal approach works well for them. In essence, top performers have a personal philosophy for success—daily habits and disciplined beliefs that are at the root of how they do business with people on both a professional and personal level.
Become what you think about yourself
“People tend to become what they think about themselves.” That’s a quote from pioneer psychologist William James; one that I’m particularly fond of, because it applies so well to the selling profession. It underlines just how important it is for each of us to take time and ask ourselves “what kind of a sales person do I want to be?”
By deciding for yourself that you want to become part of the top-10% of sales performers in your organization, you’re making a commitment to yourself to do more than just sell more in less time—you’re also adopting a mindset for success.
You’re shaped by who you associate with
Approaching sales from the right mindset also involves giving some thought to who you choose to surround yourself with. In my experience, I find that a lot of people are held back by the people they associate with. Tony Robbins said it most eloquently where he said your income is a direct reflection of the expectations of the five people who are closest to you.
In other words, it matters who you hang out with. It’s crucial that you find people in your life who want to see you succeed, and who want to come along for the ride with you.
Equally important, open your mind to new ideas. Nurture your own personal success philosophy by making a habit of reviewing some of those great sales-related books that are out there, including those by Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale (just to name a few).
Don’t just mine for ideas from within your own industry. There’s a lot of insight to be found in what’s going on outside of your market, and by being among the first to bring those good ideas into your business, you stand to capitalize. So be daring! Browse areas of the bookstore other than the business section. For instance, read up on the latest insight by urbanist Richard Florida about how our economy is influencing where people live and the choices they make (see “Who’s Your City?”). Or consider what essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in his best-selling book “The Black Swan” about the role that unexpected events can play in how we make decisions (and mistakes) in our daily lives.
Good ideas have endless applications to how you work and how you think as a sales pro.