Over the years I have had the good fortune of working directly with hundreds of salespeople in a wide range of industries. I have seen dozens of salespeople who have tremendous potential fail and other less talented individuals succeed.

I have also witnessed on numerous occasions people who seem to be on their way down or out and this group fascinates me the most.

I remember watching one particular sales rep dramatically improve his results when it appeared that his days were numbered. When I commented on his improvement he said that after a year or two of doing just enough to get by, he decided to get serious.

He admitted that his initial focus was to close enough deals and do just enough so he wouldn’t get fired. But he eventually realized that he could earn a very good living if he changed his mindset.

He put effort into his work. He took a more strategic approach. He started contacting higher-level prospects. And he spent less time making excuses. It didn’t take long before he started closing more sales — at higher values. And his efforts were soon noticed by his sales manager.

To succeed in any career, especially sales, you need to be serious. Not from a personality perspective but in your work ethic. Talk to any successful entrepreneur, corporate executive or industry leader and you will quickly find that they all take their role seriously.

Business — and sales — is serious and it’s not for the faint of heart.

The more serious you become, the less likely you will merely do the basics and the greater the likelihood you will achieve extraordinary success.

What about you? How serious are you?

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