Following in the footsteps of success

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All of us want success. What if we told you there was a shortcut to where you’re going? It’s not about less work or thinking positive thoughts. It’s about learning from people who’ve already achieved great success. By listening to what they say, implementing their advice, learning from them you can save yourself countless hours of trial and error. Check out these thought leaders you should be following from Inc. and set your course for great things!

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Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

 

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, that states that 80% of the results in a given situation can be attributed to 20% of the people working towards those results. That means the top 20% of the salespeople in a company will make 80% of the sales.

 

Take control

Top twenty percenters have certain attributes. They don’t hope for the best they commit to being the best.  Holding no illusions that they’re somehow going to magically rise to the top, they decide they’re going to get there and then hold themselves accountable every step on the way. There’s a grand canyon between hoping for something and deciding you’re going to get something. One leaves the achievement of the thing to outside forces. The other takes control.

 

Acknowledge successes

They look at everyday as another opportunity to learn something that’s going to bring them closer to their goals. They implement what they’re learning and keep on working away on that skill like a sculptor on stone, until that skill or the sculpture inside the stone is revealed. When those skills lead to successes they don’t just let them pass like ships in the night they stop and acknowledge the accomplishment. They reward themselves in some way to keep themselves incentivized.

 

Not afraid of fear

Fear is the great stopping point to so much success. The two things that people most fear are: failure and looking bad in front of others. Those fears are what prevent so many people from giving their careers 100% of their energy and dedication. You can’t fail 100% if you’re only putting in 60% or 70% effort.

 

Top twenty percenters do not let fear get in their way. They are as afraid as anyone else, but they go ahead and put themselves out there anyway. As Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

 

A personal commitment to results

Top twenty percenters are not giving lip service to their company or their product, they are speaking with 100% conviction and commitment. To be a strong salesperson you have to believe in yourself. To believe in yourself you have to believe in what you’re doing. You can’t believe 60% or 70% or even 99%. It has to be 100%. If you don’t have 100% believe in yourself and your company then why are you there?

 

Clear direction

A lawyer never asks someone on the stand a question without knowing the answer. Top twenty percent salespeople are fully prepared and versed on every aspect of the their product and the people they’re selling that product to. They may never say the same thing twice, but they have a clear, defined system for what they’re going to say.

How Are You Perceived Online?

How Are You Perceived Online?

 

We all use social media so much it’s become part of our everyday lives. Personal uses for social media aside, have you thought about how social media can help or hinder your career?

 

Google

Before you apply for a job, you probably Google the company. What do you think the hiring manager will do before considering you for the job? Right, they’re going to Google you.

 

So beat them to the punch. Google yourself. What’s there? Does it make you look good? Professional? Fun? Or is there some embarrassing stuff? Make sure you take the time to check and adjust your public image accordingly.

 

Create a professional version of yourself. If you don’t feel like you can let go of that tumblr account you created about funny cats, go ahead and keep it, but don’t keep it under your name. Everything associated with you should be professional. The twitter feed associated with your name shouldn’t have an outlandish username or contain silly posts. Your Facebook should be clean and private.

 

Website

It’s a good idea to also create a website as a professional landing space on Google. Use it to write about what you do. Include any references you may have and contact information. Think of it as an online, expanded resume. You could include a sort video introduction to you and what you’re all about.

 

LinkedIn

Do you have a LinkedIn account? Are you active there? Do you post and share and interact? Do you network there? Because a lot of employers do all those things. The little corner of the social media that is LinkedIn is one of your top sources for finding a job.

 

Ensure your social media presence is as professional and engaging as you so when the next potential employer Googles your name, virtual you is as inspiring as in-person you.

Thought About Finding a Mentor?

Thought About Finding a Mentor?

 

Unless you’re trying to do something no one else on the planet has ever accomplished or even conceived of, then you are not the first. No one is you so they won’t have done exactly what you’re going to do from your perspective or with your intentions, but if you want to become a manager or president of the company for instance, and you know others have become managers before you, then they have experiences you don’t.

 

Avoid pitfalls and fast track your way through mazes

They have knowledge of some of the pitfalls awaiting you and short cuts to get you to your destination faster. They gained experience along the way and have connections with people who have helped them. So if you want to stubbornly do every single thing for yourself, make all your own mistakes, take longer to achieve your goals than necessary, waste time and expense pursuing avenues that aren’t going to be of any help, then by all means work away diligently by yourself. However if you want to speed things along, avoid potholes, fast track your way through inevitable mazes, then find yourself a mentor.

 

You can have more than one mentor

Don’t just find yourself a mentor, find several. Sticking with the manager example, you won’t only have to become good at one thing, you’ll have to become strong at a host of things. Relationship building, finances, time management, etc. etc. etc.

 

If your network is extensive enough, why not find people who are strong at different things and get them to mentor you on those things. For example if you know someone who is especially great with people, take that person out for lunch or dinner and learn what they know. Visit them in a their professional environment. See them in action, talk to the people they work with. Get a perspective from the other side.

 

Instead of clearing a path through that jungle follow the path they’ve carved. Then follow another path already cleared by someone who’s spent tons of time becoming an expert on the shipping side of the business.

 

Pay it forward

The wheel only needed to be invented once. By taking advantage of mentors, people who can teach you and help you and inspire you, you’re fast tracking yourself to the time when you’ll be ready to forge your own path. The path someone else will follow when the time comes for them to start laying the groundwork for the manager they want to become.

You Got A Job Offer – Now What?

You Got A Job Offer - Now What?

 

All your hard work has finally paid off. You got the job offer! You might be so thrilled you’re tempted to just accept whatever they offer you and rush to sign on the dotted line, but that is not what’s in your best interests. Check out the article How to Negotiate Salary and Juggle Job Offers from The Simple Dollar to see what the experts say about the best tips for negotiating better pay.

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

Help Your Prospects Feel At Ease

 

If you’re in sales, you spend a lot of time talking to strangers, building quick relationships and (hopefully) an easy rapport. If you can help people feel more at ease when you start talking to them, you’re going to have a much easier time of it. Here are a few tricks to help you with that.

 

“I’ve only got a minute.”

If people think you’ve only got a limited time to talk to them, they’ll relax because they don’t feel trapped. Even if they’re not initially interested in what you have to say, giving you a minute of their time doesn’t seem like a big deal.

 

Is now a good time?

Just asking people if it’s a good time will increase the chances they’ll listen to you. Studies have shown that people are more likely to give you their time if you ask about their availability and wait for a response rather than just push ahead with what you have to say. It helps them feel in control of the situation.

 

Keep your body on the same page as your words

Saying all the right things won’t help if your body language is contradicting your words. Sometimes we’re so intent on what we’re saying we forget to notice what our bodies, starting with our faces are doing. A smiling face is the beginning.

 

When trying to get our point across we’ll often point our chin at the person we’re talking to in our earnestness. What we don’t realize is, from the other person’s perspective it looks like we’re pointing our nose down at them, so make a point of lowering your chin just a little.

 

Now that your chin is down, have a look at your hands. What are you palms doing? Keeping your palms up while you’re talking conveys the message that you’re interested in the other person, in hearing what they have to say and open to their ideas.

 

Nodding your head up and down as the other person speaks, raising your eyebrows are both non-verbal cues that you are open to them and at ease. Anything squashed down, like eyebrows or pursed lips conveys stress and a closed off attitude.

 

Dump the judgments and preconceptions

Approach every person with a completely open mind. Regardless of what they look like, what you expect they might say or think, give them your full, non-judgmental focus. Talk to the person, not the potential sale.

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

Three Easy Steps To Increased Productivity

 

Sometimes in the middle of trying to do all the things you need to attend to, it feels like all you’re doing is treading water while the to-do list floats all around you. We’ve got three small tips to help you get more daily tasks to shore.

 

Take control of your emails

Emails are like tiny time suckers. If you take the time to respond to every single one that floats into your inbox the second it floats in, you lose focus on what you’re doing, and then you have to take the time to yourself back into the swim of it things and the day gets away from you in small beeping chunks.

 

If you decide to respond later and then forget about the waiting emails, then that becomes a problem too.

 

The best thing to do is take control of the emails. Don’t stop what you’re doing every time one comes through, but do respond to them – at a time convenient to you.

 

Unless an email is absolutely urgent, deal with them in bunches at allotted times. That way instead of breaking your concentration every ten minutes, you’re dedicating 15 minutes chunks to emails throughout the day, and dedicating longer uninterrupted chunks to everything else.

 

Make the most of your commute

If you’re someone who has a long train or bus commute to work, that’s a great time to get through small chunks of work. Your commute is a great time to tackle a few emails. You answer them there and then  and save yourself all that time later.

 

No matter what task you tackle on the train, it will be a more productive hour than mindlessly trolling Facebook.

 

Determine your most productive hours

Different people are at their peak efficiency at different times of the day. Some are most productive after lunch when they’re full and happy. Others are most focused first thing in the morning. While others hit their peak efficiency after they’ve settled in and have been at work for an hour or two.

 

Figure out your optimum work time, and set yourself goals of doing larger or more demanding projects at that specific time.

 

Working according to your body’s natural rhythms is useful for getting things finished. Give yourself small easy tasks when you know your brain is on autopilot, and save the more complex things for when you’re at your mental best.