How High Performers Achieve Success
“This is the hardest business to make $25,000 and the easiest to earn $100,000 a year.” So claimed a speaker at a top life producers award ceremony this past year in New York City. Since he had written $1 million in commission that year–up from $750,000 the previous year–the audience was listening.
This gentleman shared his techniques and some of the sales tools he used to help him achieve this great success. As a result, many agents in the room went out and purchased these tools, only to be disappointed in their lack of success. The lesson: A method that works for one star agent doesnt guarantee it works for all.
So what are the guarantees for sales success? To find the secret to achieving even your most ambitious goal, you must first look within yourself.
In my experience working with high potential salespeople, I have consistently observed five steps that high performers regularly apply to achieve levels of success average performers could never attain.
Step 1: Take an inventory of your unique talent. What is it that people consistently compliment you about? What do your favorite clients say are your strengths? What caused your best clients to buy from you instead of another agent? Ask yourself, what do I like to do–that I am really good at performing–in my business?
Research on high performers points to identifying and then building on strengths as a proven path that leads to excellent performance. Assessments can come in handy to help you identify your natural strengths. Your agency probably has a bounty of assessment tools to help you quickly focus in on your strengths. If not, just use the questions above to get your clients, your manager or simply people who admire you to help you ferret out your unique talent.
Step 2: STOP working on your weaknesses! Research on high performers has found that working on weaknesses only makes your strengths weaker as your weaknesses rise to mediocre. High performing salespeople manage their weakness by first determining whether the weakness is harming their potential and then finding ways to manage it.
For example, one of my clients is exceptional at designing and delivering impressive life insurance solutions, but he was unsuccessful at consistently keeping his new client pipeline filled. He discovered his weakness: He was easily distracted by the details of running his practice; administrative tasks would take him all day, which was preventing him from focusing on growing his business. He realized that if he hired someone part time to take care of the administrative details, it would free him up to fully engage in his client building program. His business doubled within the second month of hiring this assistant.
Step 3: Clearly identify what success means to you in your terms. Be specific and ask yourself, what do I really want to accomplish in the next 6-12 months and what impact will that have on achieving my vision for my business?
Many times when I ask this of sales professionals, they will rattle off a standard sales objective. This causes me to ask, “What would it mean to you if you achieve that goal?” After a few rounds of similar questioning they realize their true goal is not to meet a certain sales target or commission level but to be financially sound–so they can have the freedom to pay for their childrens education, donate a significant amount of money to their favorite charity or help their parents out of a financial bind.
Sometimes its not a monetary goal but a passion to erase poverty, keep more money in their clients hands than the IRS, or stamp out financial ruin because of poor or no planning.