Selling is hard work, which is the reason so few salespeople are really good at it.
Please don’t misunderstand me. My definition of really good at selling carries a minimum benchmark commission income of $100,000 dollars per year. Not many salespeople make that kind of income because they are not willing to do the things that those salespeople who make more than $100,000 dollars per year do. You’ve got to work hard at selling to make that kind of money. It isn’t impossible, it just requires working hard at doing the right things. I train salespeople who easily make three times that amount because they have disciplined themselves to work hard at doing the right stuff. There is a great story I heard several years ago entitled The Salesman. I don’t know who the author is, but it makes a point about the hard work and discipline necessary to be a top salesperson.
And in those days, behold there came through the gates
of the city a salesman from afar off, and it came to pass
as the day went by he sold plenty.
And in that city, were they that were the order takers and
they that spent their days in adding to the alibi sheets.
Mightily were they astonished. They said one to the other,
"How doth he getteth away with it?" And it came to pass
that many were gathered in the back office and a sooth-
sayer came among them. And he was one wise guy. And
they spoke and questioned him saying, "How is it that this stranger accomplisheth the impossible?"
Whereupon the soothsayer made answer: "He of whom
you speak is one hustler. He ariseth very early in the
morning and goeth forth full of pep. He complaineth not,
neither doth he know despair. He is arrayed in the purple
and fine linen, while ye go forth with pants unpressed.”
"While ye gather here and say one to the other, 'Verily
this is a terrible day to work', he is already abroad. And
when the eleventh hour cometh, he needeth no ablibis. He
knoweth his line and they that would stave him off, they
give him orders. Men say unto him 'Nay' when he cometh
in, yet when he goeth forth he hath their names on the line that is dotted.
"He taketh with him the two angels 'inspiration' and
'perspiration' and worketh to beat hell. Verily I say unto you, go and do likewise."
Recently, one of our clients who was struggling at sales before he entered our program, made the following comments relating to meeting with his sales coaches for the first time:
“They let me know that the company was considering hiring them to work with me, but that they had to feel confident that I would give it my full commitment. They explained that this would be a difficult one-year program that would shove me way out of my comfort zone and would be very expensive to the company. However, they promised me that if I did everything they taught me that my results would improve dramatically over the course of the next year. As someone who derives the majority of their income from commissions, how could I say no to that?
While I still feel that I have a long way to go, I believe that I’m firmly on the path. My YTD sales have exactly doubled over the same time last year. I am working very hard to double them again, and again.”
What was the key to his success? He was willing to work hard, get out of his comfort zone, learn and practice new skills, be held accountable on a weekly basis for his activity and performance, and he believed he offered a valuable service to his clients. There is nothing easy about selling, but the rewards of working hard at doing the right things are worth it.