Throughout my career in sales, I have been fortunate to work with countless sales professionals and top performing individuals who continually perform at levels far above the norm. These individuals are the rainmakers. They are the ones who the company counts on to come through and perform. They are the backbone of their team and key contributors to the success and profitability of the organization.
Since my early days of selling, I have always been intrigued at the unique characteristics, traits and habits that are found in many top performers. You can likely recall the many examples I have used in prior columns that illustrate the difference between average and above. There are many commonalities that cannot be ignored. I strive to identify and relay to others what my experience has shown to be unique factors associated with high sales performance.
One characteristic that I believe is most important is how many of the top sales performers I know view their role at the company they sell for. They do not view it as just another job. They view their role in sales as themselves actually owning the company.
Think about it like this. The company you sell for provides you with all of the tools you need to run your own business. In exchange for their services, infrastructure and resources, you pay a percentage of your sales to the company. They even provide you with medical insurance, paid time off and all of the other perks that go along with it. You pay a percentage of your sales for the overhead that is provided to you. Remember, if you owned a business, you would have to pay for all of that anyway.
By nature, sales people have an entrepreneurial mindset. They are passionate about success and are willing to take the risks associated with a career in sales. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sales people do not have the desire to take the risk of starting their own business. According to a study conducted by Decipher, Inc of Fresno California, 72% of Americans want to start their own business. That is a staggering number! If 72% of Americans want to start a business why do only 2% actually do it?
There are many reasons. From raising capital, to not wanting to take the financial risk, the vast majorities of people want to, but likely will never own their own business.
So for those of us who have the business mindset and want to control your own destiny, what is the next best thing? I believe the answer to be a career in sales!
When sales professionals view their selling role as being the owner of a business, they create a feeling of personal ownership and hold themselves accountable to their performance. By conditioning your mind to think like an entrepreneur, you will perform at a higher caliber and you will develop a focus on ownership, passion and a burning desire to succeed.