I never cease to be amazed by the number of salespeople having difficulty achieving success.
I’m not talking about a fifty or sixty thousand dollar per year income; I’m talking about eighty thousand plus on the low side. Top salespeople earn an income in the upper five percent of all wage earners. I have several clients who, even at a relatively young age, are earning more money than highly compensated doctors, attorneys, or CPA’s. These professionals have spent years studying and training to conquer the skills required to be respected in their perspective fields. Unfortunately, most salespeople have never been trained to reach the success they desire, nor have they invested the time and effort necessary to be at the top.
Most salespeople just fell into sales, maybe having a background in engineering, business, finance, marketing, or possibly no post high school studies at all. They really never planned a career in sales, but just found themselves in that arena due to shear happenstance. Their attitude is one of “I’ll try sales, it can’t be that bad, and if it doesn’t work out, hopefully I can find something else.” The more education a man or woman can acquire the better, but a college degree is not necessary to be successful in sales. The three things that are necessary to be a top income earner in sales are: (1) A desire for a greater lifestyle: (2) The motivation to do the things average sales people are not willing to do, and finally: (3) A belief in yourself and your abilities. In addition, they must learn the principles and skills top sales performers have made a habit of doing in their daily activities. To be the best at anything requires an unusual effort. It requires the discipline displayed in the following two stories:
As a young man, Peter Gray had a tremendous desire to play professional baseball. He said to himself, "Some day I'll play in the major leagues at Yankee Stadium." So, Peter went to work to attain his dream. He played for his high school team and them became a star player for his college baseball team. Due to his willingness to work hard and follow his dream, Peter finally ended up playing in the major league.
Although Peter Gray only played for the St. Louis Browns for one year and only played at Yankee Stadium one time in his short career, many fans feel he should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His fans feel that way even though Peter never hit home runs or did anything we might consider great. You see, Peter Grey had only one arm.
And then there is Pete Strudwick, a marathon runner. Pete regularly competes in the grueling Pike's Peak Marathon, one of the most difficult in the world. Over the years he has run more than 25,000 miles. You might ask, "What is so great about that, a lot of people run marathons?" Well, Pete Strudwick runs a marathon on prosthetics, because he has no hands or feet.
How could Peter Gray play in the major leagues with only one arm? How does Pete Strudwick run the Pike's Peak marathon with no feet? Why are some people like Peter and Pete able to overcome terrible adversity and obstacles to achieve greatness, while others, in spite of every advantage, turn their lives into a disaster? The answer is quite simple. Those who are successful in life have learned how to create an overpowering desire to succeed. No one ever attained a consistent pattern of success that didn't have a burning desire to succeed.
Henry J. Kaiser, the great American industrialist said, "What a man can imagine or conceive in his mind, he can accomplish. Impossible things are made possible as thinking men make them so." I love the comment made by former BYU Football Coach Lavell Edwards as he talked about what it takes to have a winning football program. He said, “If you see a man on top of a mountain, he didn’t just fall there.” Top sales performers don’t just happen. They don’t just get lucky, and they don’t become successful without paying the price of success. Remember, successful salespeople must have a desire to improve their lifestyle, the willingness to do those things that average salespeople are unwilling to do, combined with a belief in self. These attributes must also include proper learning and hard work. With this formula, you can land on the top of the sales mountain. When you want a successful sales career, to the extent that Peter Gray wanted to be a major league baseball player, and you are willing to overcome the obstacles like Pete Strudwick in running marathons, then you will find yourself in the top five percent of all wage earners.