I don’t want to come across as philosophical, but in all we do, there is a law of nature that comes into balance.  

You might call it a “cause and effect” principle.  It is impossible to do something and not receive the appropriate and corresponding result.  Selling is no different.  When you do certain things, you are bound to receive certain results.  Every action and activity will return an appropriate result in harmony with that activity.  Let me put it another way.  If a farmer plants corn, he will reap corn.  If he plants wheat, he will reap wheat.  The size of the harvest will be proportionate to the care in which he nurtures his field.  

Now, here are a couple of thoughts to seriously ponder relating to sales excellence:  Question number one – What are you planting?  Question number two - What are you doing to nurture what you have planted?  I know very little about farming, probably just enough to know that it is an extremely difficult and challenging way to make a living.  However, I know a lot about sales, enough to know that if you follow the same principles that relate to farming, sales can be a wonderful profession and provide an excellent standard of living.

To achieve excellence in sales you don’t need to be brilliant and gifted.  You do, however, need to understand what it takes to achieve excellence and you must be willing to put forth the required effort.  Remember, sales excellence is bound by certain unchangeable principles that determine success or failure.  Let me share with you a short article written by a personal friend of mine.  You might know of him, Dr. Terrel H. Bell.  Ted served as the U. S. Secretary of Education in the cabinet of President Ronald Reagan.  Ted was first and foremost and educator and this article talks about a profound experience he witnessed during his early career as a teacher.

In our small high school, the students and faculty were well acquainted.  Teaching and learning were individualized and personal.  This young woman came to my attention when she was in the ninth grade.  We gave her several IQ tests because her achievement in school far exceeded that of many classmates who scored much higher on a highly respected intelligence test.  The highest she ever scored was 97, but her achievement exceeded two very bright and talented students who had scored above 130.  She was an exemplary student who utilized every opportunity and every moment of the day.

Learning was not easy, especially when new and somewhat complex subject matter was being introduced, but she was very intense.  She was never reluctant to ask questions nor to reveal what she did not know.  She had a deep and abiding will to achieve, and exam questions missed were mastered and not missed in any subsequent test.  What she lacked in brilliance she made up in effort and by steady, relentless pursuit of mastering her lessons.

This young woman graduated at the head of her class and was the valedictorian.  She reached her goal to be the best because she had learned that it took her longer to learn.  She knew her steady, unrelenting effort would bring her to full mastery, if she were willing to pay the price.

I will always remember this remarkable student.  She was an inspiration to the faculty and her classmates.  Her example was contagious.  Hers was living proof that the will to learn and the self-discipline to use time wisely and effectively will lead to the success that never comes to those who, regardless of talent, hold back their best effort.  A positive attitude, full commitment, and the self-discipline to work hard can all compensate for endowed talent.  You don't have to be bright to attain excellence.  You just have to be ambitious.

The cause and effect principles that influence the results of your actions, and the law of the harvest that the farmer lives by, combined with the laws of learning as shared in this story told by Ted Bell, apply precisely to achieving sales excellence.  Here is my summary of eight profound principles, which, when learned and applied, will bring sales excellence:

  1. All of your actions are part of a cause and effect principle.  If you want to be excellent at selling, then you must do those things excellent sales people do.

  2. Everyone is bound by the law of the harvest, which states, “You will reap that which you sow.”  There are no exceptions.

  3. The size of the harvest is in direct proportion to the care and nurturing of the field.

  4. Excellence requires a relentless pursuit of knowledge and activity.

  5. A positive attitude, full commitment, and the self-discipline to work hard can all compensate for endowed talent.

  6. Understand what you don’t know and then work diligently to learn those things.

  7. To achieve excellence you must have the desire to become excellent.

  8. Personal ambition, not talent, is paramount to achieving sales excellence.