Dear High Achiever:
DO YOU HAVE THE DNA? Do you have the right stuff to be a sales superstar?
Over the past ten years I’ve made a habit of showing up a couple hours early to my corporate and tradeshow talks so I can hear other people speak. Being a life-long student of learning, I love the “nuggets of knowledge” that people inside a particular industry share. I always learn something new … confirm something I believe to be true … or at least get a great idea for my newsletters.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker for Aflac to help them kick off 2009 and get ready to have their Best Year Ever!
I love public speaking. And I love inspiring others to transform their life. I’m passionate about my message and I’m privileged to give a lot of seminars throughout the year, and I have a great time doing it. Not a bad gig, right?
I arrived about two hours before I was scheduled to be introduced on stage and I had the opportunity to sit in on a thirty-minute breakout session that was given by a successful Aflac agent. I’m going to respect her privacy and not mention her name, (I’ll call her Wendy – it’s a Bruce Springsteen thing – if you get that, I’m impressed) but I will let you know she was relatively new in the business. And, if I remember correctly, she was in Aflac less than three years and was already earning well over $250,000 a year.
If you are not in sales, I’ll let you in on something.
Selling is one of the highest paying careers one can have. But not all salespeople are earning $250,000 a year. But, the ones with the right DNA are making buckets of money and having fun all the way to the bank.
Wendy is a Sales Superstar and has the right DNA!
“ What’s the DNA,” you ask? It will be revealed in a minute.
Another one of my habits when attending a seminar or when I’m in a meeting is taking notes, lots of notes. I’ve become fairly competent at remembering people’s names but I can’t remember everything a speaker says in a thirty or sixty minute seminar. Note taking is a good success strategy. (Hint, hint).
So I took a lot of notes. And now I’ll share them with you.
One thing I immediately notice when I listen to salespeople that have the DNA is their passion about their business and selling in general. They have a hungry-yet-sincere look in their eyes that is very engaging, and for me, it’s an Attractor Factor. I love talking about sales and I love talking to salespeople.
Wendy obviously has the DNA and I noticed it the second she started her talk.
The first thing I noticed was her enthusiasm and her passion about representing Aflac and being able to help people with the products and services Aflac offers.
It was like she drank the Aflac Kool-Aid or maybe a better illustration is, she was soaring with the Aflac Duck!
Are you soaring with your company and its brand?
Here is one of my favorite Wendy quotes from that day:
“ I think the employer (the prospect) is lucky that I’m calling on them.”
Whoa! What an awesome mindset to have when you are picking up the phone or making a cold-call in person. When I heard that I almost jumped out of my seat to run up and give her a high-five.
Then she said:
“ Frustration is my biggest motivator!”
Whoa again! Now I was really fired-up! No wonder she is making over $250,000 a year. She can’t be stopped by rejection. The more she hears “NO” the more persistent she becomes… Cool!
But wait, there’s more…
Next, she says:
“ I am my own boss!”
Wow! She takes responsibility for her own actions, success and her income. She knows she is accountable to herself. She is in charge. Aflac provides the vehicle for her to earn as much money as she wants and she takes the initiative to go out and make it happen.
Next she begins to tell a story about meeting a lifeguard at the pool in her community. (It’s not what you think). She started talking to the lifeguard — a young woman, previously a stranger — and found out that the lifeguard’s father owned a huge company. Wendy then asked the lifeguard for permission to meet her Dad. She meets him and ends up writing a very large insurance policy for his company.
Hint: Talk to strangers!
Wendy’s takeaways continue: She says that only 50% of the people she calls return her phone call. It’s a numbers game and she doesn’t take it personally. She is not on clock time, she is on Goal Time. She has a goal and she makes as many calls as it takes to reach her goal. She doesn’t care if it’s a Sunday, a holiday or a rainy day. Every day is a sales day.
Then she says the line that separates the Sales Superstars from the Willy Lowmans of the selling world:
“ No Follow up – No Sale!”
Wendy knows the statistics: Sometimes it takes at least seven touches, contacts, approaches to get an appointment or close a deal. She doesn’t stop at one call when she knows an opportunity exists.
She closes her talk by summarizing her 3 keys to success:
3. Follow Up
Last point for today: You think Wendy is the exception? You think Wendy was born to sell.
How wrong you’d be: In her previous corporate life (about three years ago, remember?) Wendy was a Human Resource Director. If you don’t know the profile of a HR Director – call one. Most people get into HR to avoid sales.
In his song Lose Yourself, Eminem, a performer with an interesting history of having transformed himself, sings “You can do anything you set your mind to.”
FYI Challenge: Self-Evaluate – Do you have the DNA of a sales superstar?
FYI Takeaway: Great salespeople are not born, they are self-made.
Go Out and Make This Your Best Year Ever!
Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of SelfGrowth.com and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Personal Empowerment Program and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. Eric can be reached at 732.761.9930 ext.114 or email Eric@SelfGrowth.com or Eric@EmpowermentGroup.com