Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seven Keys to Success

Today, salespeople carry smartphones, tote lightweight tablets, and are dialed into their organization’s network from, well, almost anywhere. No wonder that selling is now, more than ever, less a transactional endeavor and more an exercise in cultivating lasting relationships with customers. But despite the ubiquity of digital sales tools, reps who base their sales effort on a time-tested principle of work/life balance are most often the sales superstars. Here’s a list of some time-tested keys that will give you the best chance for success.

1. Work harder and play better.
Successful people know that nothing worthwhile comes easy. Hard work is important, but it is equally important to have fun. Go to any successful start-up company, and you’ll see employees blowing off steam on ping-pong tables, throwing darts, browsing books on a shelf, or playing trash-can basketball. Frolicking at work isn’t frivolous. Dispensed in small doses, it’s a powerful success medicine. Don’t be a workaholic; be a “workafrolic” instead.

2. Cultivate curiosity.
Successful people are not just curious about their chosen field, they are curious about EVERYTHING. They continually think, explore new ideas, ask dozens of questions, and always try to figure out how things work and how they could be made to work better. Curiosity is the most powerful business-improvement and personal-success engine.

3. Expand your endurance.
Push yourself mentally and physically. Successful people know how to generate and maintain positive energy 24/7. They strive to be physically fit, and at the same time they work on their psychological fitness. 

4. Turn failure into fertilizer.
Thomas Edison failed thousands of times before he found a filament that would glow in a vacuum tube, which lead to his invention of the light bulb. Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, and failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” 

5. Focus.
Successful people begin each day with written goals they want to achieve. They know that the onslaught of incoming emails, calls, and texts will distract them, but each time they get sidetracked, they go back to working on the next item on their list. People who start a new task every three minutes end up doing in an hour 20 small tasks that merely contribute to maintaining the status quo. It is far better to invest your complete mental focus on two or three tasks per hour and create steady forward momentum.

6. Innovate.
Successful people know that having innovative ideas is not enough. What counts is how many new ideas you can implement successfully. What holds people back is not the difficulty of implementing their ideas, but what people say when they start sharing their ideas with others. Oracle founder Larry Ellison said it best: “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you that you’re nuts.” 

7. Manage disappointment.
Successful people realize that reaching success often depends on how they manage the inevitable disappointments that unexpectedly impact their lives. When people get disappointed, they often withdraw, and their anger turns inward. Successful people transform disappointment into a journey of self-discovery, where they reconnect with their inner strengths. Disappointment well managed will become the cradle of ambition.

Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power

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