When I was nine years old, Mrs. Knight gave me $5 to remove snow from her driveway. I was hooked. The idea of earning money every day, if I sold, filled me with enthusiasm and excitement. That enthusiasm led me to selling, teaching and coaching all across the country. My sales career has given me the opportunity to meet and understand peak performers across nearly every industry, not just discovering how to sell to prospects, but also learning how my clients and prospects sold to and serviced their clients.
This experience, coupled with research and preparation for numerous presentations has led me to discover the top five personalities of peak performers: Farmer, Doctor, Lawyer, Infomercial Product and Boxer. Let me introduce them to you. See if you recognize yourself in any of the following descriptions.
Focuses 100 percent on his farm and is undistracted from his core business.
Thinks summer all winter and winter all summer, preparing for what will happen in the future.
Understands that "time" and "timing" are different, that corn does not grow because you want it to and that the natural course of some things cannot be forced.
Pays attention to ratios, understanding that you reap what you sow.
Watches over the crops, but doesn’t spend all day chasing birds, so he doesn't lose focus.
Uses simple systems to produce long-term results, understanding what you plant, you can harvest.
Speaks with candor and clarity, avoiding jargon, acronyms and unnecessary complexities.
Nurtures growth with daily "feeding and watering" of employees, clients and prospects to produce results.
Maximizes his time, planning a tightly scheduled day, typically in 10-minute increments.
Is a lifelong learner, understanding that education is required for advancement.
Masters listening and questioning to get the right information to make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.
Keeps fantastic records, is organized and disciplined.
Embraces process: finds the issue, confirms the pain, provides the solution.
Leverages the referrals by giving and receiving based on specialties and focus.
Always schedules follow-up visits to ensure patients are progressing as planned.
Dresses sharply, knowing that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Has a well-prepared opening statement to set the tone for the rest of the day.
Is even better at closing, preparing an appropriate message to win the case.
Practices persuasion by studying and understanding the power of words and actions on results.
Knows proof is the responsibility of the presenter and uses evidence, exhibits, stories and illustrations.
Handles and dismantles objections — not as a technique, but as a process.
Frames and reframes client statements. ("'No' as in 'never'" or "'no' as in 'not today'"?)
The Infomercial Producer
Makes a big promise that appeals to the prospect’s reality.
Eliminates perceived risk by using guarantees and special offers.
Sells small first to gain customer trust and a larger second sale.
Uses different techniques — online, print, direct mail, telesales and social media — to reach the buyer.
Understands and capitalizes on the buyer's learning modalities — seeing, hearing, touching, smelling.
Differentiates from competition, not unlike comparing apples to oranges.
Uses pictures and testimonials.
Measures results and ratios, doubles down on what’s working and abandons what’s not.
Asks for the order, multiple times and in different nonthreatening ways.
Is committed to being a champion and models himself after other champions.
Understands making it to the big time takes time.
Is disciplined, eating and sleeping well and training for best performance.
Is self confident, a requirement to win.
Is a shameless self-promoter, knowing that if you don’t promote yourself, nobody else will.
Values "mental toughness" — a positive attitude with the ability to take a punch.
Can go the distance, planning for a long fight in order to win.
Hopefully, you recognized a little of yourself in all of these personalities. It takes all five to become a top performer. If you noticed some gaps, then you know where to start making some changes that could result in improvements in your ability to grow your business. Hear more on this topic live in: "Becoming a Top-Performing Partner," at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 26-29 Http://www.channelpartnersconference.com/2012/vegas/
Over time I’ve learned I can’t fake enthusiasm or force myself to do well at something I see as torture. Instead, I will re-arrange activities so I’m naturally enthusiastic when need. Sure sometimes I need to do the dreadful tasks. But, I always try to work on something exciting first. Faking enthusiasm drained my energy. Doing what I love fuels my energy.