Nine Behaviors of High-Performing Salespeople with Ron Finklestein
The key to success lies in how well you create an“attitude of success.
” Tim Connor, in his book Soft Selling, surveyed 80,000 sales professionals. One of the top behaviors identified was personal development. Successful sales professionals spent 10% of their time in personal development compared to 2% for the less successful sales professionals. Let’s look at some behaviors you can implement today to improve your odds for success.
1. Enlightened Self-Interest
Enlightened Self-Interest is defined as understanding what is in your best interest with the intent to choose and take action. It’s about being selfish with your time, energy and money to ensure you meet and achieve your goals.
When I talk about successful people being selfish, I’m not referring to the childish behavior where everything is “mine, mine, mine.” I’m referring to mature selfishness that allows them to make decisions based on the outcomes they want to experience. This takes into consideration the impact of your behaviors on others: family, customers, prospects and business associates.
Being selfish asks, “How do I protect my time, energy and money” so I’m only spending them on those things that will take me closer to my goals?” Until you can define why you’re in sales (your purpose), it’s very hard to be selfish. You can define this life through the creation of a personal vision and mission statements. After your personal vision and mission statements are complete you can create well-defined goals to support your vision and mission.
After your goals are defined you can go through a barrier-busting process that will help you understand how to achieve these goals. When you complete this step, you can start being selfish. You have your personal goals defined, you know the kind of life you want and you’re ready to seek out and meet the people who can take you there.
It’s very hard to be focused if you don’t know where you’re going. The dictionary defines focus as “close or narrow attention; concentration.” Without a clear perspective, you cannot focus on the desired outcome. It’s too easy to become distracted, unorganized and inconsistent. When you understand what it is you’re to be selfish about, you generate a clear focus—a sense of purpose.
Discipline is controlled behavior resulting from training and self-control. You’re selfish and focused, and you now have a new weapon in your arsenal: discipline. Your mind is made up. You’ve decided to achieve your goals. You’ve figured out what works and you keep doing the same thing over and over.
Being disciplined means you will not abandon your goals. Since you’re creating the life you want, discipline is another tool for your success. Discipline has taught you that life is not smooth and that there are rough spots. Experience has taught you that by being disciplined, you can get through the tough spots. Your eye is on the target and you have the discipline of a laser-guided missile; you seek out your objectives and your focus never falters.
Persistence can be defined as the continuance of an effect after the cause is removed. The defining moment that caused you to create your ideal life is behind you. Your goals are clear; you’re focused, disciplined and selfish. You encounter unplanned obstacles. Your persistence allows you to see these obstacles not as problems, but as opportunities.
After all, if it was easy, anyone could accomplish what you’re accomplishing. But not everyone is on the field of battle with you. They see obstacles and stop. You see obstacles and see opportunities.
You keep your eyes clearly fixed on your objectives; you try different things to overcome these obstacles. You know where you’re going. You know you can’t be stopped. You know that your persistence is what drives you forward. You will find a way around any obstacle. Persistence is created when you’re clear on your Enlightened Self-Interest!
Ownership is the state of being an owner. It’s taking the legal right to the possession of a thing. These are your dreams, your goals, and your life; if you don’t take ownership for achieving your dreams, who will? As Jesse Livermore said, “There are only two emotions in the market—hope and fear. The problem is… you hope when you should fear, and you fear when you should hope.”
But not you. Your fear is motivation to move you forward because you’ve learned that when you take action you get results. You always hope for the best and plan for the worst. You’re ready for what life throws at you. You have to be. Taking ownership is about change-making change to move forward, changing behaviors that aren’t working, possibly changing your friends who don’t understand and deal with the world as it is and not as you want it to be.
You own the outcome because you’re clear on where you want to go, and you take ownership of it. With ownership, you know that if you’re not getting your desired results, you can take action and change the outcome. Ownership is so very empowering. You know that if you don’t have the skills, you can learn or hire someone to teach you. With a mindset of ownership (your life, your business, your skills, etc.) you empower yourself to make the necessary changes when things are not working.
6. Orientation toward Results
Results mean to end in a particular way. You defined your goals—the outcome you want to achieve. You defined how you want things to end, and because you took ownership you now have the power to create your desired outcomes. You can create while measuring your results. You measure everything you do relative to achieving your Enlightened Self-Interest.
When you don’t get the results you want, you fall back on persistence, ownership, focus, and discipline, and know you can make the necessary changes because you have the skills, the drive, the desire, the knowledge and the roadmap that will take you where you want to go.
Results are simply a way of measuring your success. You either get the job done or you don’t. If you don’t, because of your ownership, you go back and try something different. No excuses. No remorse. Only results. You understand, as Yoda once said, that “there is no trying, only doing.”
7. Focus on People
Every successful person understands that his success comes with and through other people.A successful person will recognize these individuals and appreciate them for their contribution to the results. He will also assume complete responsibility for things not working. He must—there is no other course of action when you’re the owner and take ownership.
Many people have too many ideas and they bounce from idea to idea without giving one idea a chance to work. If this is a problem for you, write your ideas down and put them away for two weeks. After two weeks, review your ideas. If you’re still excited, ask yourself how this idea will help you achieve your Enlightened Self- Interest. If you aren’t, then either your Enlightened Self-Interest has changed or the idea isn’t worth acting on.
Success is not the achieving of a goal. The achieving is an outcome. The word success has its root in the word achieve. Achieve has its roots in the word action. True success is taking action. These 9 behaviors are present in most high-performing salespeople.
Cultivate them into your coaching and watch your sales improve.
About the Contributor Ron Finklestein
Ron Finklestein, called the “Real Deal” by his clients, is the creator of the InstituteforBusinessGrowth.org. Ron specializes in growing sales through leadership training, business coaching, sales training and consulting. Ron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / 330-990-0788 /www.instituteforbusinessgrowth.org
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