I was reminiscing the other day about my sales career. For the first twenty-five years, my compensation was a very lucrative salary complimented with annual performance bonuses, stock options and a generous travel budget.
When I started my own company, all of that changed and my compensation effectively became a commission. The biggest concern with the change in my compensation plan came from my wife. She wanted security. I wanted the freedom of an unlimited income. She actually made the comment, “Why don’t you get a real job.” I asked her what she meant by that, and her explanation was, “When the company you work for deposits money in our checking account every two weeks and we know how much and when it will be there.”
What she didn’t understand was that the security of an income rested with me, not the company I worked for. Every day, there are companies offering great salaries that go out of business, or terminate employees. Commissioned salespeople performing at a high level, on the other hand, are less likely to lose their jobs. It has been many years since my wife verbalized her concerns about “real jobs” and commission income. In fact, when she wants to purchase something outside of our regular household budget, she will say to me, “Please make another sale so we can purchase such and such.” She gets it. Salespeople can have whatever they want; all they need to do is sell more.
This past week I have trained five workshops dealing with the principles and skills that make salespeople successful. These are the very principles and skills that provide salespeople with an unlimited income, the skills that allow salespeople to enjoy the finer things of life. These are the principles and skills that when applied, enable salespeople to have their best sales month ever. Top sales performers enjoy an income that is in the top 5% of all wage earners. In one of the workshops last week, we had six salespeople who achieved their best sales month ever! Each of those salespeople sold more than 300% of their prior twelve-month average. One of them even had their territory cut in half and still managed to have their best month ever.
This past spring, we traveled to Hawaii for eight days with twenty-seven of our clients and staff. They all earned a luxury vacation to the island of Kauai through achieving their sales goals for the past twelve months. What did they do to enable them to reach their goals? They put into practice the principles and skills of selling. Some of these principles and skills deal with time management, visualizing success, how to close the sale and ask for more, prospecting and referrals. They learned to use sales tools such as goal sheets, prospect data sheets, ten most wanted, bucket of happy satisfied customers, and have determined what is humanly possible. They learned how to speak the language of personality types, allowing them to communicate effectively with and to sell to each of the four different personalities. They don’t just know about personalities, they speak the language. They learned how to dress for sales success and how to diagnose needs and how to resolve concerns. They know how to identify the four sales qualifiers and how to use their existing customers to facilitate closing more sales with their prospects. These salespeople enjoyed an all expense paid luxury vacation as a reward for their sales performance, in addition to significant increases in their income. On average they doubled their income.
Have I told you recently how much I love my career in sales...and my wife!?! You too can find greater joy in sales when you learn and apply the correct principles and skills. Read, study, educate yourself and enjoy partaking of the fruits of the greatest and oldest profession in the world.