« Back Home
Climbing to the Next Level of Success
Back to Columns
Climbing to the Next Level of Success
by Barry J. Farber
Ask any ten people, and you’ll get ten different definitions of success. No matter what it means to you, however, true success can never be stagnant – you don’t just achieve it once and keep it for life. To remain successful, you must always climb to a higher level. In sales, there are two parallel ladders of success, one internal and one external. The first involves continual improvement – learning as much as possible about your profession and your product. The second has to do with service – taking what you’ve learned and using it to enhance your ability to serve your customers.
Success from the Inside Out Successful selling requires more than a desire to make money. It comes from a combination of product knowledge, professional expertise, and personal confidence, all of which are built through the process of a continued commitment to learning. What are you doing every day to improve your skill levels in selling, communicating, building relationships and networking, and how much you know about your product? Don’t forget that you are a product, too. After all, it is you that the customer is really buying. You improve that product by finding mentors, by observing what successful people do and by applying some of their methods. But most of all, you improve by adapting their methods to your own creative style, because you are what is most unique about what you sell. Your knowledge and commitment to learning provide the enthusiasm to sell with passion. The more you learn, the clearer your picture of what it takes to succeed, and the more excited you get about taking the necessary actions. Which brings us to…
Success from the Outside In The more excited we are, the more we apply the things we learn, and the better we become at them. The better we become at them, the greater the service we can provide our customers (which is, after all, our fundamental goal). Here are three ways to keep that process growing:
1. Keep others’ interests at heart. This is the only way to earn a customer’s business. To earn means “to get or deserve as a result of something one has done.” You earn a customer’s respect (and make a sale) when he sees that you are putting in the effort to learn his business and to solve his problems. Selling is always about creating win-win situations. It doesn’t matter to a customer how excited you are about a new product or project unless your customer knows what it means to him. There has to be something about the situation that makes him excited as well.
2. Increase your depth of knowledge. Learn as much as you possibly can about the customer’s business and goals. How can your product, and the knowledge you have about that product, help your customer’s business grow? Your depth of knowledge brings you greater credibility, along with the ability to come up with the best possible solutions for your customers.
3. Create appropriate solutions. A solution doesn’t have to be an amazing event that is going to turn your customer’s company around. It could be a small thing that makes someone’s job easier, such as how your product can help decrease his work load. We’d all like to come up with a “big” solution, but often the little ones are more impressive. They’re solid and consistent, and those are the things that keep customers coming back.
Over the years, I have worked with highly successful people from sports, science, business, education, and entertainment. A common sentiment I heard from all of them is that at the end of their lives, they would look back and ask, “How much did I learn, and how much did I serve others?” Constant learning, constant action. Both are equal, both are necessary. We learn from our actions, we act from our learning. One without the other suffers. Both together provide invincible truth.
||Barry Farber consults with a variety of industries to help them grow and
expand their business.
He is the best-selling author of 11 books on sales, management and customer
service. His latest release “Diamond in the Rough” CD program is based on
his best selling book, radio and television show.
Visit him at: www.BarryFarber.com or email him at: