By Todd Duncan
It makes no difference where you are in your sales career, whether you’re a sales manager, sales broker, or sales rep. And more than likely, it doesn’t matter what company you work for or what product you sell. The million-dollar question applies to everyone in the sales profession. The fact is, you will not reach your potential as a sales professional until you answer the question, and answer it correctly.
The Law of the Shareholder demands that you do. And what might be the million-dollar question you ask? This:
Am I a salesperson in business, or am I a business owner making sales?
The Law of the Shareholder says that the most successful salespeople buy stock in themselves. That begins when you stop thinking of yourself as an employee with a job and start thinking of yourself as an owner of a business with a compelling vision to help people.
The defining characteristic of a CEO mindset is thinking like an owner. It is taking responsibility for your own growth and the growth of your business. It’s understanding that what you do as a salesperson is operate a business that provides products and services, and to do that well and with integrity increases the likelihood of your success and stability.
It’s knowing that you must have a business plan to succeed. It’s knowing that you must have accountability, a “board of directors,” to help you make wise decisions that will grow your business. Simply put, it’s acknowledging that you alone are the largest shareholder in your business.
The life each of us lives is the life within the limits of our own thinking.
The future of your sales career rests primarily not in your hands or your feet, but in your mind. In other words, how you think as a sales professional will determine how you act as a sales professional. And until you begin to think like a successful business owner, you won’t consistently make decisions or take actions that maximize your sales business. In fact, that’s why the Law of the Shareholder is the third law. Successful thinking precedes successful acting. And trustworthiness precedes trust. Think about it this way: Until you can think for yourself, customers won’t trust your thinking.
The Law of the Shareholder is more than self-affirmation and self-confidence. While you must first think your way to the top before you can ever climb there, mere thinking won’t take your sales career anywhere. Like any business, you must actively invest in your sales business for it to grow.
The following are the ten best investments you can make to reap a more secure and successful sales business, as well as a more abundant life. Follow them and you’ll reap a very satisfying reward.
- Invest in your relationships with those you love. What will your sales success mean to you if you cannot share it with those you love? Don’t make the mistake of pushing away those most important to you in the name of “building your business.”
- Invest in a long-term personal-development program. You are your business’s greatest asset. Earning a customer’s trust begins with who you are. And the growth of your business will always be proportionate to your ability to maximize your personal potential.
- Invest in a sales coach. You will never know all you need to know to make every decision that arises from running a business. To succeed in sales, you must remain teachable.
- Invest in a competent right-hand assistant. More than likely, you are overqualified for the majority of the tasks you perform. That’s because, if you’re like most salespeople, you try to do it all yourself.
- Invest in the image of your business. What image are you sending to your customers? If you have a place of business, what impression do people have of you when they walk through the door? What impression do people get when they view your marketing material?
- Invest in a personal financial plan. The long-term success of your sales business depends on your ability to reinvest money wisely while maintaining financial growth.
- Invest time in an exercise program. Your career longevity begins with your health. It’s a fact that the state of your body can dramatically affect your business, especially in the sales profession.
- Invest in a client-retention program. To be a successful owner of a sales business, you must do more than provide customer service — you must produce client loyalty.
- Invest in a library. The person you become tomorrow has a lot to do with the books you read today.
- Invest in technology. To best meet your current and future clients’ needs, you must stay up to speed with technology.
The Law of the Shareholder reveals that you must invest regularly in yourself and your business if you’re ever going to be successful in the sales profession. That means you don’t wait for your company to invest in your sales future; you make the sacrifice yourself because it’s your business, and its growth is your responsibility.