Welcome back to our 6-part blog series focusing on what it takes to succeed in selling. By now, if you have been following the series you will already have taken action on the first 16 traits of successful people and should already be seeing signs of improvement in yourself. The key as ever, is to keep taking action on those whilst implementing actions also regarding the following 4 traits below.
- FLEXIBLE – successful people are flexible. Whilst they have the ability to set goals and plan how to achieve them, they also have the presence of mind to monitor their progress and see what is working and what is not. They can then decide to stick with what works and do more of it if possible or change what isn’t working and replace it with a better, more productive activity. They are able to do this quickly and don’t labour over how things have always been done or that the old way may feel more comfortable; they just change. Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” In terms of success this isn’t the theory of surviving though, rather it’s the key to achieving.
Coupled with openness to new ideas flexibility allows successful people to move to where opportunities exist quickly so they can make the most of them. Donald Trump, the American property billionaire states in his book, The Art of the Deal that he never enters a negotiation with only one strategy. He always goes armed with several potential outcomes and is able to drop those that aren’t working and refocuses his attentions and efforts on those that are likely to so a deal can be made. He says he never gets emotionally attached to one particular strategy as he recognises that could result in him following something that was not going to work, which would only cost him time and money. How many times do you pursue something that is not quite right and in doing so waste energy and effort trying to make it fit? Be prepared to change strategy, take on new approaches and let go of unproductive ones once it becomes apparent they will not take you where you wish to go.
- ENERGY AND EFFORT – all success is achieved as a result of working hard. Sometimes it may not look that way; numerous movies show us in one and a half hours how a complete no-one can achieve the pinnacle of success in their chosen endeavour and if we aren’t careful we can be led to believe it is possible. All success comes from hard work and to do that you need energy and effort. To help ensure the traits we have already discussed in this series work as well as they can; desire and determination, resilience, persistence, positive mental attitude, energy and effort are critical to your success. Without them those other traits, for all of their merit and value could not be taken to the final extremes where success is so often achieved. It’s about keeping going until the only outcome is success and you’ll need energy and effort to get you there.
It’s important you look after yourself physically and mentally. Don’t waste energy and effort on non-contributing activities that distract you away from achieving what you desire. We have all seen (or perhaps been) the person that thinks they can break the mould, burning the candle at both ends at will living and playing hard. Whilst there may be some exceptions to the rule, for most of us this seriously handicaps our ability to achieve. So take a look at what you are doing with your time and where your energy is being spent, be disciplined enough to question whether it is helping you towards your goal or distracting you from it. And where necessary decide to do what you need to so you have the energy to keep going where others fall by the wayside. As Sir Roger Bannister, the first sub-four minute mile runner said, “The man (person) who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win.”
- COMMITMENT – once you decide what and who you want to be, what level of success you will achieve then you need to commit to achieving it. Make a promise to yourself to see it through, to achieve it no matter what obstacles may stand in your way, no matter how difficult or far-away from you it may seem. Coupled with the fear of failure we have covered previously in this series we (people) don’t like to do this as in doing so we can risk setting ourselves up to not feel like a success, but rather a failure. As we described in that earlier blog though, you can’t fail unless you give up and commitment is part of deciding to keep going until success is your only outcome.
As part of your commitment write your objective down, and constantly look at it to remind yourself of what you have set yourself as a goal. Use it to measure your progress against and to evaluate whether what you are doing is working or not. Use it to determine what changes you will make when necessary and to strengthen your resolve to achieve your goal when things are not so good and the obstacles are numerous. Use it to keep you going forward when the temptation is to walk away, when walking away seems to be the easier option. Commitment is our promise to ourselves to make it happen so use it to guide you forward everyday.
- ACT ON OPPORTUNITIES – successful people are alert to opportunities. Whenever something presents itself they question themselves to see what the outcome of taking action could be. For many of us, when something doesn’t fit our usual thought processes or activities we simply rule it out, go past it and carry on with the usual routine. Successful people wonder where a change may take them and having considered it, they take action.
When Ray Kroc walked into McDonalds hamburger joint in San Bernardino, California to sell them a malted milk machine he realised he had stumbled across a great opportunity. Instead of walking out with an order for a machine, he walked out with the rights to franchising McDonalds’ restaurants around the world. In doing so he created the world’s most successful small business spawning tens of thousands of McDonalds’ franchises around the world over the next three decades.
Whenever something happens to you and it seems to be some way off what you thought you expected to happen take a step back and question it; what is it you are seeing / experiencing? In Ray Kroc’s case he had wanted to sell them a malted milk machine – he wasn’t looking for franchising rights. Open your eyes to see what you are really experiencing just as Kroc saw an opportunity to franchise a successful hamburger restaurant. If you think that by following an opportunity, you can develop it, then follow it and make it happen.
Work on these traits between now and the next blog in this series and we will continue next time with the final 6 traits guaranteed to make you more successful. I wish you every continued success!
(Note: If you have been applying these traits over the last 4 blogs, let us know what benefits and results you have seen by commenting on this article.)