As you begin your career as a sales professional and a self-employed business owner you are in the position to experience the advantages that come from a virtually unlimited financial opportunity. And by “virtually unlimited” I mean your success is only limited by your willingness to put in the activity necessary to grow in our industry.
Most people get in our industry because they want to build a book of business, not just to make immediate, temporary income (first-year commission). They want to build a permanent income through renewals.
There are two challenges to building a book of business that grows permanent income through renewals. First, you have to write business that stays on the books past that first year. Sounds simple, but this is where new salespeople often do not make it in the business. Most new salespeople do not make it not because they don’t do the right thing. And they don’t make it because they don’t do enough things. Most new people in our industry don’t make it because they don’t do enough of the right things, enough of the time.
Second, you have to stay in the business past the first year, or you have to stay with a carrier past the first year of business you put on the books in order to earn the renewal. That means you have to work through your learning curve issues and not jump ship for the “next” best thing. Everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side. After you have changed sides enough times you begin to realize that the other side is not greener, it is just fertilized with a different brand.
What do you have at stake?
In order to succeed in our industry you have to have something at stake. And when I say something at stake I am speaking less of the time and effort you put into the business. I am talking about your ego and self- esteem. You have to be willing to take emotional risk, to be willing to experience rejection in order to shorten the learning curve to grow as a sales professional.
Here’s a story: A frozen-fish processor had trouble selling a new line of frozen fish because they tasted “flat.” The company tried to keep the fish fresh, including holding them in tanks until just before processing, but to no avail.
Then someone suggested: “Put a predator in there with themthat should keep them fresh.”
This idea worked like a charm. The fish kept moving and retained their vitality.
You have to keep moving forward in order to keep your vitality. You always head in the direction you’re facing. So always look forward and you’ll most likely keep moving forward. Most new salespeople focus on the things that did not work rather than the things that did work. It matters less what others do, it matters most what you do…next.
Fight for it!