Being successful in this industry is more about staying on top of your game than about making excuses for the downfalls. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” In times of difficult selling, it takes imagination and determination to become successful in this field. Here are six excuses that agents make that impair their ability to sell:
1. I’m new in the business. Congratulations! There are no bad habits to overcome. With a clean slate you can absorb everything that training, mentors, coaching and reading materials have to offer. Seek out the best in your business and ask questions. As with any business, planning is essential. You need a written step-by-step plan of action for success. Use your business plan as a guide to help you focus on your goals.
2. I don’t have the experience or training. If your company offers training, take advantage of every opportunity. If it doesn’t, it's up to you. Search the internet. Sign up for classes. Read books. Every day should be a training day. Talk to the successful agents in your company and absorb their secrets for success. Learn who are the timewasters and stay away from them.
3. Everything has to be perfect. The perfect flyer, the perfect script and the perfect presentation—everything has to be right, so nothing ever gets done. Does this sound like you? To combat this, form a daily action plan. Plan your phone calls, meetings, appointments and time for prospecting and doing paperwork. Leave nothing to chance. The more you organize your time, the more you will accomplish, even if it’s not perfect.
4. I haven’t figured out my niche. If you are new to the sales business, your niche is everybody. Don’t wait for the lightening bolt to hit on what you are supposed to be doing. As you gain experience, your niche will start to reveal itself.
5. Top producers are unapproachable. Often top producers have an almost movie-star-like status. But, more often than not, they appreciate a new person’s struggles and are happy to share their knowledge with him. A rookie agent friend of mine knew that she needed to learn from top producers. So she sought out the top four female agents in her area and sent them a blank cassette tape, a check for $50 and a note. The note mentioned that she was new to the business and asked if they would share some ideas on what she needed to do to become a top producer. The check was a thank-you for their time, and she also provided a prepaid envelope. All four agents responded, refused the check and set up a time to have lunch with her. Each of these successful agents mentored the rookie agent, who became one of the top agents in the Denver area.
6. I don’t like prospecting. This is the No. 1 reason why people do not achieve success in sales. A poor outlook on prospecting could be the result of a bad experience, improper training or lack of confidence. Remember that sales success results from successful prospecting. Prospect within your sphere of influence and create a network that encourages referrals from your clients and professional referral sources.
Now that you have no more excuses, what can you learn from top producers? Here are some habits that set top producers apart from others:
They implement systems that reduce interruptions. Examples of this include arriving at the office an hour before everyone else, checking email just twice a day and scheduling specific times during the day to return all phone calls.
They terminate unprofitable relationships. Wasted time is lost revenue, so they rid themselves of “time robbers,” ensuring that their relationships and activities are giving them the rate of return they desire.
They put “life priorities” first. They plan their time around their faith, family and physical needs. They understand that these are more important than a commission.
Tom Ninness is vice president and regional production manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage in Denver. He is also the president of Summit Champions Inc. and creator of the “The 90 Day Journey to Your Sales Success.” For more information, go to www.90dayjourney.com, www.summitchampions.com or contact Ninness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-221-4396.