Messages from the Masters
What Does It Take to Become a Sales Success? by Jeffrey Gitomer

There is no quick fix, magic wand, or potion that will give you the success you're dreaming for. 

So, what's the secret of sales success? Well -- it's not a single secret -- it's a secret formula. There is a series of 14.5 principles, strategies, and actions that will lead you to success. 

OK, OK, the Secrets of Sales Success are not real secrets, they're fundamental steps that successful salespeople and entrepreneurs have been executing for centuries. You can too. Here are the 14.5 Secrets of Success:

1. Believe you can. Believe that you're the best and that your capable of achievement is the hardest thing to do. It requires daily dedication to self-support, self-encouragement and positive self-talk. You must also believe that your product, service and company are the best.

2. Create the environment. The right home and work environment will encourage you. Supportive spouse, family members and co-workers will make the road to success a smooth ride. It's up to you to create it.

3. Create the associations. The easiest way to learn about how to succeed is to hang around successful people. Who do you hang around with? That is who you are likely to become.

4. Plan for the day. Since you don't know on which day success will occur, you'd better be ready every day. Prepare with education. Plan with goals, and the details for their achievement. Learning and goals are the surest methods to be ready for your success.

5. Become valuable. The more valuable you become, the more the marketplace will reward you. Give first. Become known as a resource, not a salesperson. Your value is linked to your knowledge and your willingness to help others.

6. Recognize opportunity. Stay alert for the situations that can create success opportunities. The little known key is to get and maintain a positive attitude. Attitude allows you to see the possibilities when opportunity strikes -- because it often shows up in the form of adversity.

7. Take risk. Taking chances is a common thread among every successful person. No risk, no reward the saying goes -- and it's true. Most people won't risk because they think they fear the unknown. The real reason people won't risk is that they lack the preparation and education that breeds the self-confidence (self-belief) to take a chance.

8. Take action. Just do it (Nike) is the expression for the 90's. Actions are the only way to bridge plans and goals with accomplishment. Nothing happens until you do something to make it happen -- every day.

9. Take responsibility. Don't blame others or yourself. Take responsibility for your actions and decisions. Blaming others is an easy thing to do, but leads to a path of mediocrity. Successful people take responsibility for everything they do AND everything that happens to them.

10. Make mistakes. The best teacher is failure. It's the rudest of awakenings, and the breeding ground for self-determination. Don't think of them as mistakes -- think of them as learning experiences not to be repeated.

11. Keep your eye on the prize. Post your goals. Stay focused on your dreams and they will become reality. Too many foolish diversions will take you off the path

12. Balance yourself. Your physical, spiritual and emotional health are vital to your success quest. Plan your time to allow your personal goals to be synergized with your work goals.

13. Invest, don't spend. There should be a 10 - 20% gap between earning and spending. Clip your credit cards in half and make a few investments -- with professional guidance.

14. Stick at it till you win. Most people fail because they quit too soon. Don't let that be you. Make a plan AND a commitment to see the plan through -- no matter what. Don't quit on the ten yard line. Have whatever it takes to score.

14.5 Ignore idiots and zealots. Also known as pukers, these people will try to rain on your parade (discourage you) because they have no parade of their own. Avoid them at all costs.

There's the secret -- and it's not real complicated. It's not nuclear physics or brain surgery. And now that I've shared it with thousands of people, you'd think there would be a surge in the ratio of successful sales people. Nope. 

The reason the success formula is considered a secret is that it remains an enigma. It seems that there's very few people who are willing to put forth the effort to get from where they are to where they want to be. Most make excuses and blame others for their own poor choices.

The biggest secret (and the biggest obstacle) to success is you. The formula is there for everyone to know -- BUT, there's a big difference in knowing what to do, and doing it.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Knock Your Socks Off Selling and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless; Customer Loyalty is Priceless. To order Jeffrey's many books and/or audios and videos, go to  (c) 1999 All Rights Reserved.

Provided courtesy of  Jim Rohn International