Like most people, I thought exceptional success in a sales field was due to a unique ability of an individual to somehow “connect”, “convince”, or “persuade” people to purchase the product or service the salesperson was selling. This included long hours of chasing leads, cold calling, and “persistence” (“it takes 7 no’s to get to yes”) was the formula shown by Hollywood, taught in classes, and written about in bios.

Many years ago I met a young man who was interested in investing in one of my real estate syndications. He was under 30,so I assumed he would be making the minimum investment at the time of $25,000 One should never assume. He invested $500,000, and followed up with a $250,000 additional investment the next year. This surprised me especially when he listed his occupation as cellular phone salesman on the investor form

One day, while golfing with this investor, I inquired about how he was able to accumulate so large an amount of investment capital at such an early age. He told me growing up his family was poor. They lived in government subsidized housing After college, he decided to forgo the usual “management trainee” route and go into commissioned sales where he could accumulate money quickly. He didn’t seem like my perception of a “super sales personality”. So, I asked him how he found such success. The following is a summary of the steps he took to establish extraordinary sales success

1. Thoroughly research the industry, field, business you’re interested in to see if there’s a “niche”, unique approach, unserved customer base, or anything similar that can be exploited to earn income. Spend 3 – 4 weeks just analyzing, studying and evaluating the market of interest rather than jumping into a sales job day one.

2. Educate yourself on every important aspect of the field or industry you’re getting into and especially the product or service you’re selling/providing. If ANY salesperson knows more about the product or service than you, you didn’t learn enough. You need to be THE EXPERT in your field.

3. ACT like the expert. DO NOT chase business by lowering prices, performing service at less than your rate of income, giving away consulting advice to people who will likely shop price, or accepting any business outside your field of expertise.

4. Find the ideal clients, and sell only to them. Do not spend time trying to turn an undesirable suspect into a client. Spend time FINDING those who need your expertise and product, and are willing to PAY your price.

5. Turn down the majority of business that approaches you. Most will not result in the profitability you desire. Don’t waste your most precious resource – your TIME – on less than the most desirable, profitable business. If you can find a resource to refer these people to who will refer your ideal client to you in exchange, that is a super win, win.

Knowing is one thing, being disciplined enough to turn down business, spend months educating and studying with no sales and no income, and spending hours finding clients who fit your profile, is no easy task. Still, I decided to do just that in my private lending business in 2003.The first year, I followed the above steps and more than doubled my net income. Two years later, I doubled again. I went from a $125,000 a year mortgage broker to netting $750,000 annually.

The choice is yours. Most people will continue to do exactly what they’re doing, and getting the same results. But for those of you who want to become and expert and increase your earnings, try the path less traveled.

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