One of the best salespeople I ever managed wasn’t at all what you’d expect.

She wasn’t particularly attractive. She wasn’t gregarious, didn’t have any real sense of charm, and didn’t possess any natural charisma. No one naturally gravitated towards her–even though she was very nice and a very good person.

She wasn’t good at the actual craft of selling. She wasn’t well-trained, didn’t possess any real business acumen, and wasn’t anything that came to close to consultative. She wasn’t a good listerner–in fact, she was terrible.

Whatever picture comes to your mind when you think of a great salesperson, she in no way resembled that picture.

But this salesperson was the top salesperson month after month. How did she succeed with so many negatives and no obvious positives?

She had a giant “why?”

This salesperson was divorced. She was raising two children by herself, and she wanted them to have a better life than she’d had. She wanted to send them to college. She wanted them to have the things they wanted—and the things she wanted for them. She told me this time and time again.

She told me that she “could not fail.” She didn’t tell me that it wasn’t possible for her to lose a deal. She told me that there was no way she was going to fail her girls, the people that counted on her. No one needed to hold her accountable; she held herself to a higher standard than you would have dreamed possible.

This “superstar” salesperson came in early and stayed late. She walked in doors and asked for meetings. She made prospecting calls. And then she asked for orders. If she heard the word “no” she asked again. And she kept asking until she got orders. And she did get orders. More than anyone else.

Motivation is found in and the answer to the question “why?”

What are you fighting for? What are your reasons why? Who is counting on you? Why can’t you fail?

Sales 2013
Post by Anthony Iannarino on December 23, 2013
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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