By Dan Milstein, Special for US Daily Review
Becoming a sales superstar requires a “village” of mentors, sales managers, assistants and other supporting players.
Sales pros possess an abundance of dedication, knowledge, skill and stamina, traits that are typically developed and refined over a period of time.
But superstars must raise the bar. To be a superstar, such as Joe Girard or Joseph Crane, you must follow these lessons that sales greats have learned.
Strengthen Your Commitment. It is not easy to become and remain a superstar. You have to work longer hours, especially in your first few years. You must set and meet demanding goals, thrive during difficult market conditions and always remain confident in your abilities.
Get Help Now. You cannot get to the top by yourself. The pivotal point for master salesman Joe Girard was when he got his first assistant, allowing him to concentrate on sales and significantly expand his annual volume. Salespeople often complain that they can’t afford to have an assistant; actually they can’t afford not to.
Invest in Yourself—Salespeople should view themselves as a business or a mini-corporation. Do whatever it takes to grow the business. For example, salespeople shouldn’t necessarily expect their companies to provide laptops, marketing materials and other “necessities.” Invest as much as 20 percent of your annual income to reach your desired production level.
Think and reach “outside the box.” Top producers constantly seek unique ways to run their business. Find your own niche. Research the demographics of your area. Look at trends. Take a more creative approach to your usual routine. Evaluate what you have done in the past and what the competition is doing; then make sure you continually test a few new strategies.
Raise the Bar—Continue to set higher production goals and be relentless in your pursuit of them. Do not sell yourself short with easily achievable goals. Too many salespeople get complacent after reaching a certain production and are not willing to extend themselves to meet or exceed their goals in future years. I have succeeded consistently by setting aggressive and realistic sales goals.
Become Even Smarter. Continue your education to become known as the wisest expert in the market. Possess a thorough understanding of the industry’s regulations, market demographics and economic trends. Become a voracious reader of sales and management books, in addition to a variety of business magazines. Understand the competition’s products and programs better than anyone else. Be able to answer every possible objection customers can raise.
Brand Yourself. You want customers and prospects to recognize you as the one salesperson in your market they should contact. Have an identity as the salesperson who provides value to customers. My own branding evolved as customers and prospects began to recognize me as the nation’s top ranked loan originator.
Concentrate on Profitable Strategies. It is crucial to concentrate on programs and niches that are the most profitable. Do your research to determine which potential markets haven’t been overexposed; i.e., markets that the competition haven’t yet developed.
Adapt to Technology. Top producers have a better grasp of the latest technology developments, including Internet marketing and social media techniques. But while embracing technological advancements do not ignore the human element. When it comes to the major life purchases most people prefer to have an expert with whom they can develop a personal relationship.
Build a Never-ending Referral Pipeline. Referrals should be a superstar’s main focus. Build satisfied customers who will tell family members, work associates, friends and others to do business with you. To ensure that referrals multiply, you must stay in contact with customers on a regular basis. If you don’t pay attention to your customers, someone else will.
Find a Mentor. Novice salespeople should seek a mentor who can share proven strategies and help avoid the inevitable obstacles. The mentor could be an experienced salesman at your company who is willing to allow you to “shadow” them or a salesman/manager somewhere else.
Motivate Yourself—Self motivation is one of the major factors in maintaining superstardom. Salespeople must create their own formula to stay motivated. For many, earning an income to support their family’s diverse needs is sufficient motivation. My personal drive is fueled by a passion for sales and a long-standing desire to achieve.
Maintain a Strong Work Ethic. Newer salespeople are typically willing to work extra hours to reach their goals, reasoning that they can slow down once they reach the upper level. But the most successful have learned that it is more difficult to substantially reduce their workday if they want to retain their market share. Taking long vacations and leaving early to play golf is not necessarily the formula for superstar status.
Aspiring superstars should learn these lessons from top salespeople to become a mega-producer.
Daniel Milstein is author of The ABC of Sales – Lessons From A SuperStar (www.abcofsales.com) and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group (www.GoldStarFinancial.com), ranked by Inc Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing, privately held companies nationwide for two consecutive years. Milstein has been recognized as the #1 mortgage originator in the nation, has been among the top 40 finance professionals in America for 10 years, and has achieved more than $3 billion in personal career mortgage sales.