Welcome back to this series of posts on what it takes to succeed in selling. Having studied a wide range of successful people intensively for more than 25 years I have recognised that they all have certain traits in common, and that more importantly, by using these traits, anyone can be more successful at whatever they want to be. In this blog, the 2nd in this 6 part series we continue with details of an additional 4 traits in order that you may act upon them and be more successful. As per the last blog you must take action upon all of these items, no matter how small.
- RESILIENCE – successful people are resilient. They know there will be set backs, that things will not always go to plan and have an ability to bounce back and move forward irrespectively. They have an ability to deal with rejection and handle a “No”, almost as if it were a “Yes”, using each set back to fuel their determination to succeed. Successful people know that the lessons learnt when things do not go to plan often identify the changes needed that may have been previously oblivious to them. They also understand that, when faced with a particularly difficult challenge, the words, “I can’t do this” mark the beginning of a journey, not a final destination.
How resilient are you? Can you think of a time when you pushed on, in the face of extreme adversity and won through? Can you recall the last time when you gave up, only to discover later that you were closer to achieving than you thought? Commit to go the distance, to roll with the punches and develop the thick skin to protect your confidence, especially when the challenge you face is difficult. Often exhausting known possibilities to us is the key to discovering our unknown potential, we just have to keep going until we make it there.
- EVALUATION – successful people know that evaluation is the key to further advancement. It tells them, through use of monitored and measured results whether they are on the right track, and whether they need to change as well as where. They can continuously identify if something is working or not, and therefore decide to do more of it, or do something differently without losing time or opportunity. They know where they are against their plan and if the deviation is positive or a cause for concern. Successful people also evaluate possibilities, to ensure that when they do act it is always based on sound logical reasoning and not just whim, which whilst it may be flavour of the moment may not have any real impact whatsoever. How often do you evaluate what you do, the results your action produces and your effectiveness? Simply doing this can lead to much more sound judgements being made, a better and more efficient decision making process and speed up the path to success.
- DECISION MAKING – successful people make decisions no matter how tough they may be. It is said that today this process is less prevalent in human beings than ever before with so many things being automated. The advent of computer programs in particular have lead to many of us not doing this often enough and when we do so, finding it so uncomfortable and unpleasant that we gladly assign responsibility to colleagues, management, our partners / spouses, etc…
Identify the decisions you regularly make and their importance. Identify the decisions that are made for you by other people. Can you make them yourself? Can you do so better than the current decision maker? Whatever your answer to these questions understand why you think that way and do something about it. Put yourself in control more often, especially if it takes you out of your comfort zone as this is where real development and learning takes place. Take time to reach the correct decision, one that meets with your values and beliefs and when you do so, have the conviction to see it done.
- PERSISTENCE – successful people persist where mere mortals give up. In the previous blog we looked at determination, the drive to see it done and persistence is key to this happening. We need to be able to keep going when it gets tough in order that we conquer adversity, overcome challenges and arrive at our destination. Reaffirming our goals and visualising them (in detail as described in the last blog) will motivate us to keep going, ready and prepared to succeed when the opportunity presents itself. It is said that many a good idea has fallen by the wayside simply because the opportunity was not present, the timing was wrong. Persistence means that we never give up and keep going until the opportunity finally does present itself.
The famous story of Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb illustrates this wonderfully. Having worked for considerable time on the carbon element, Edison’s colleague asked him why he wouldn’t give up, having experimented unsuccessfully 999 times. Edison merely replied that he hadn’t failed 999 times, he had simply eliminated 999 incorrect ways of doing it, and so was strengthened in his resolve to find the correct way being 999 steps closer to it now!
Remember that if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Remember also that successful people more often than not, take years to achieve what they work for; and persistence is what got them to their final destination. Ask yourself when you last persisted with something you believed in. Conversely, identify when recently you have given up on something you believed in and allowed things to fall by way-side that, should you have stayed with them would now be achieved, then commit to do things differently from now on. It may help to write down what will be the pro’s of seeing it through compared to the con’s of walking away and as per your goals, make these as descriptive as you can to ensure you persist, persist, persist.
Work on these 4 traits between now and the next blog in this series and we will continue next time with 4 more traits guaranteed to make you more successful.