As my sales career has evolved over the years, and I have emerged as a leader (maybe THE leader) in the sales industry, I'm often asked if I have any secrets for success or what's been my path to personal success.
The answer is pretty simple. There are no secrets. There's nothing I do that I consider out of the ordinary. It's what I do on a consistent basis that makes me extraordinary.
I READ. I wake up every morning, and I read. I read two pages from some kind of personal success book that's more than 50 years old. If you want to know the best ones that I read, it's anything by Napoleon Hill, most often his earliest writings from The Law of Success, or the Magic Ladder to Success -- just a couple pages. It's anything by Dale Carnegie. His public speaking book. His How to Win Friends & Influence People book. His How to Stop Worrying & Start Living book. Now, I've only been doing that for 39 years, so I don't know if it works yet. I'm going to do it for another 39 years, and that's it -- I'm going to quit. That consistency leads me to new ideas. Every time I read something old, I come up with a new idea, which leads me to my second non-secret:
I CAPTURE AND COLLECT THOUGHTS AND IDEAS. When I think of things or things occur to me, or I read something that inspires me, the first thing I do is go to my computer. I write this column every week on selling skills, but I don't just write the column, I collect ideas so I can always be ahead. I've written more than 950 columns to date, but I've got 500 more ideas waiting to be evolved. That leads me to my next step of success:
I WRITE. When I write everything down, it clarifies my own ideas, it generates new ideas, and it creates content for my speeches, and for my books. My challenge to you is: If you want to be a success, you can't just read, you have to write.
I SPEAK. The next thing you have to learn how to do is present - give a speech in public. The best way to learn how to present is to join Toastmasters. If you go to Toastmasters, and give 10 speeches, you can get your Competent Toastmaster Award (CTM) -- it will give you a little more self-confidence, and the understanding of what makes a talk a good talk. Most people only talk one on one, but if you ever present to a group, that's the ultimate. Can you sell the entire group? When you learn to present to a group, selling one on one becomes a piece of cake.
I POSITION TO WIN WITH "VALUE FIRST." The same goes for marketing (attracting people who are interested to buy). I position myself to be seen and read as a person of value. My marketing mission is as follows: I put myself in front of people who can say yes to me, and I deliver value first. I promise you will never see that in a marketing textbook, nor hear it from a marketing professor.