A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist
Here is a famous quote from President Calvin Coolidge.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Let me say that I agree. In the absence of smarts, persistence will make up for a lot of things.
Yesterday we built this Calvin Coolidge quote inspired selling machine. Someone that can withstand all the challenges that comes with sales, to take a licking and keep on ticking – determined, persistent, ambitious, and committed. What more could you ask for?
Some smarts perhaps?
Sorry Pres, that is not meant to be hypocrisy or heresy. I am just saying, if I am the Mad Scientist, I want my creation to have brawn…
and a brain.
My friend Jason, always says, “If you are going to be dumb, you better be tough!” His father said that to him after he shot himself in the foot with a BB gun, …on purpose!
What if you were tough and smart? That is the stuff six and seven-figure sales giants are made of. Let us review my top ten.
- Intelligent–While college educations are not required, the ability to read, digest and disseminate information is vital. Many sales jobs require licensing, certifications, and annual testing. You must be able to stay abreast of enough technology to stay connected to what is happening now.
- Smart– That is not a repeat! Smart comes in so many forms. Street smart, book smart, life smart…you get the picture. There are some people that do not have a formal education that could run circles around their degreed colleagues. Jim Rohn says, “Formal education will make you a living, self-education will make you a fortune.”
- Innovative– People who are innovative create better solutions. They see problems or challenges and create processes or methods to get more “horsepower” out of the engine. It takes very little improvement to see great results. Get a five percent increase in each area of response rates, close rates, referrals and repeat business and you are likely doubling or tripling your income!
- Ingenuity– When others see dead-ends or stumbling blocks, people with ingenuity see opportunity. As a teenager, I would look in the refrigerator and see nothing…my mother saw a family meal. For top salespeople, what they have in front of them is more than enough for success. They look at it with the right perspective – and ingenuity!
- Creative– Like innovation and ingenuity, creativity is born out of the desire or necessity to see better results, more effectiveness and efficiency. Do you wait for someone to tell you how or what to think, or do you build your own ideas of how to proceed?
- Intuitive–It is the ability to be “in tune” with the circumstances with a heightened state of awareness. It gives you a sixth sense of insight to turn a situation around –that feeling you have, that prompts you to say the right thing at the right time. To help the client understand that you understand….and secure a sale.
- Instinctual – Instinct is the twin to intuition, but instinct is about timing. Knowing when to talk…and when to let silence prevail. Allowing tense moments to build to fever pitch, the poetic pause, the authentic statements, and gestures…knowing when to close. Top guns have great instincts!
- Strategic– For sales achievers, time management defines each day and assigns each activity an objective and corresponding tactics. It is not an aimless “let’s see what the day brings” mindset. It is structured, purposeful and targeted. Nothing is left to chance or happenstance. With a strategic mind if something fails…at least we know why!
- Problem Solving– A necessary companion of Strategic. If the tactics are not generating desired results, then problem solving kicks in to measure, monitor and manage them until a better way can be found. The strategy and tactics will evolve through this skill of building bridges for every barrier that is encountered.
- Mental Agility– The best sale people have nimble minds…not rigid. They roll with the punches; they swim with the tide of process until it delivers them…99 rejections…1 sale – all is right with the world. Not too high or too low through it all. They are optimistic but not blindly so. The glass is half full so they can fill it up!
Whether it is a school of higher learning or the school of hard knocks, you must engage your brain to be great in sales.
Again, assess how you do with each of these qualities. Some are tougher than others and are “natural” gifts, such as instincts and intuition. It is true that some salespeople are “born”, and others are “made”. As we started with President Coolidge, if you have only had persistence, you can do well, but oh, how much father could you go…
If You Only Had A Brain! (Not insulting your intelligence…I think you know what I mean!)