The following is the first part of an interview with Brian Tracy, author of numerous business titles, including Unlimited Sales Success: 12 Simple Steps for Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible written in collaboration with his son, Michael, and the books in the Brian Tracy Success Library.
Why are some salespeople more successful than others?
I asked myself that very question when I started selling many years ago. My first breakthrough was the discovery of the 80/20 rule. It says that 20 percent of the salespeople make 80 percent of the money. That means the average income of the people in the top 20 percent is sixteen times the average income of the people in the bottom 80 percent. When I first heard that statistic, I was both inspired and discouraged. I just did not think that being in the top 20 percent could be possible for me. Then I learned another fact: Every person in the top 20 percent started in the bottom 20 percent. Everyone at the front of the line of life started at the back of the line. I immediately made a decision to be in the top 20 percent.
Making a decision, of any kind, and then taking action on that decision, is often the turning point in your life. People who get to the top of any field get there after they make a decision, and then they back up that decision with hard, hard work, month after month and year after year, until they make their decision a reality.
What exactly do you mean by “hard, hard work” in sales?
That’s where the 80/20 rule also applies, but in a different way. It says that 80 percent of success is mental and emotional, not technical and physical. The most important determinant of sales success in any field, in any economy, in any market, with any product or service, is self-confidence. The higher your level of self-confidence, the bigger the goals you will set for yourself, the faster you will bounce back from rejection and disappointment, and the more you will achieve in a shorter period of time.
How can a struggling salesperson in the bottom 80 percent gain self-confidence?
Self-confidence is determined by your self-esteem. The more you like yourself, the more confidence you have. The more you like yourself, the more you like other people, including your customers. The more you like your customers, the more they like you right back, and are willing to buy from you, and recommend you to their friends. Psychologists will say that everything you do in life affects your self-esteem in some way. Almost everything you do is to either build your self-esteem or protect it from being diminished by other people or circumstances.
Your self-esteem is the ‘reactor-core’ of your personality that determines your levels of optimism, self-respect, and personal pride. Everything you do to build your self-esteem also builds your self-confidence. When you truly like yourself or love yourself, and see yourself as a valuable and important person, you become more positive and cheerful and completely unafraid to call on customers and ask them to buy from you.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 with tips for salespeople.
Brian Tracy is the Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International and one of the top business speakers and authorities in the world today. He has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the United States and more than 60 countries worldwide. His AMACOM titles include the Brian Tracy Success Library series as well as Full Engagement and Focal Point.