You really, really, really want to increase your sales. And it seems you've tried every trick, every technique, every script that books and motivational tapes and sales seminars have to offer. But no matter what you try, you're just not getting the results that you've seen other business people achieve. It's frustrating. Why can't you have the pile of money and the accolades you deserve? The answer: you might be thinking about selling all wrong. Becoming a superstar in the world of selling isn't really about tricks, techniques, or scripts. It's about nothing less than becoming a whole new kind of salesperson.

You know the old adage about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts? The same applies to becoming a sales superstar. You must take a holistic approach. Becoming a sales superstar is not a matter of, 'follow this script to the letter' or 'swoop in with the Ben Franklin close.' It is a matter of ingraining seven special powers, which make salespeople great, into your sales DNA. If you transform your genetic selling blueprint-the way you think, feel, and act-then fantastic sales revenue growth will naturally follow.

Hard to imagine, isn't it? But the good news is that I've done some serious legwork to help you make that happen. I have spent the past 25 years observing and researching the most effective sales strategies and the most successful salespeople in the world. I discovered that they possessed a unique set of powers that they used reflexively, often unconsciously. These special powers are a fusion of knowledge, skills, and psychological mastery-and that combination is always greater than the sum of the parts. These powers were so consistent across top sellers, that it became obvious to me that they were simply part of their makeup, part of their sales DNA.

To double, or occasionally even triple, your sales results, you must splice these seven irreducible powers of sales success- reputation, real passion, research, rapport, resource management, resiliency, and relationships -into your DNA. Integrating them into your makeup will move you from financial mediocrity to financial prosperity-from hoping you'll make more income to wondering where you're going to spend it all. When you commit to the 'gene therapy' of mastering these seven special powers, you're on the road to sales superstardom. What follows is a brief sampling of the seven powers of sales success.

1) The Power of Reputation
Building a strong, credible personal identity is the starting point for leveraging the power of reputation to increase sales. And without a doubt, character is the most important part of that identity.

When I was learning to play golf as a kid, my dad always instructed me to swing the club so that it would hit the ball with the sweet spot of the club face, making the ball go straighter, higher, and farther. Character is the sweet spot of your identity and reputation. It is what will take your sales numbers higher, help your relationships with buyers last longer, and make their trust in you go much farther. Nothing gives you greater credibility with buyers than your character-while they'll tolerate occasional, honest mistakes, character 'slip-ups' will violate their trust and make further sales virtually impossible. Honesty, integrity, a sense of fair play, and respect for others, are absolutely vital for long-term success in sales.

2) The Power of Real Passion
On a roll . . . in the zone . . . invincible. We've all experienced this feeling at least once. It's a mental-emotional-physical state that not only feels good, but puts both salesperson and buyer in the optimal state for buying or selling. Sales superstars are able to induce a very positive state and then anchor that positive state of mind to the product or service they're selling. To do this, you must supercharge your psychology and that can be accomplished in many ways, including visualizations, positive affirmations, and pre-sales-call rituals.

Even something as simple as music can help salespeople "turn themselves on": music evokes feelings and responses that can change your physiology and psychology instantly. Hundreds of top sales producers interviewed for my book told me that they regularly put on special music before big sales presentations or in their cars as they drove to their first meeting of the day.

3) The Power of Research

Nature does not reveal its secrets. It only responds to our method of questioning.
- Werner Heisenberg

Of course salespeople must know everything there is to know about the product or service they're selling and a great deal about the company they're selling to. That's obvious. But the "research" you do goes much deeper than this. Being a sales superstar is about diagnosing. You must sift through the information that's relevant to the prospect's specific needs and then use this research to prescribe a well-tailored, customized solution. It means diagnosing before you ever prescribe. Like a great physician, you must conduct a pragmatic diagnostic process and the primary diagnostic tool for the "Doctor of Selling" is questioning. Therefore, you must make sure that your questioning and listening abilities are top-notch.

As many as 75 percent of top sales pros are defined as introverts on psychological tests. They would much rather listen than talk in a sales situation. Poor salespeople dominate the talking , but top sellers dominate the listening . Sales superstars practice the 70/30 rule. They talk and ask questions 30 percent of the time and then listen intently to their customers 70 percent of the time . . . listening exerts an almost magical effect on human communication. It causes people to relax and open up-to the possibility of buying your product.

4) The Power of Rapport
Top sales producers know that the key to building great rapport is to enter the buyer's world and make him or her feel understood. When you have real rapport with buyers, you can see their point of view and communicate with them on their own wavelength. The power of rapport moves you from your paradigm of the world to your buyer's and back again-and makes the buyer want to come with you. Surprisingly, you set the stage for great rapport with your buyer in just the first 30 seconds.

Here are a few "Rules of Engagement" that will help you establish rapport quickly:

Establish equal power. When you meet buyers for the first time, you must look them directly in the eye, extend your hand first, and say your first and last name. Nine times out of ten, potential buyers will respond in kind. Now you're on a first name basis. Double-dip your first name: "George. George Ludwig, nice to meet you."
Use a standard opening line, followed by a long silence. Say something like, "I appreciate this opportunity to get together with you," and then shut up for four seconds. That pause may seem excruciatingly long, but it allows the prospect to take you in, and it communicates that you are powerful and comfortable.
Synchronize yourself to the buyer's warm-up rate. After the silence, if the buyer wants to talk baseball, then by all means talk baseball. If the buyer wants to start talking immediately about business, then follow suit.
Create a 15- to 30-second infomercial—elevator speech—about what general benefits you and your company can provide. The purpose of an infomercial is simply to get the buyer curious enough to inquire about whatever solution your product or service provides.

5) The Power of Resource Management
Sales superstars know that if they don't manage their resources well, especially their scarcest resource, time , they'll end up with lackluster results. They also usually end up unfulfilled and very frustrated. There are only about 200 hundred selling days per year to generate results. You have to make those days count if you want to enjoy tremendous success.
Ever heard of Vilfredo Pareto? He was the Italian economist, who observed in the early 1900s that 20 percent of the Italian people owned 80 percent of the country's wealth. Over time and through rigorous application to many fields of study and business, his principle has become accepted as a valid premise regarding the relationship between input and output. Pareto's Principle, as it's known today, states that 20 percent of all possible inputs for any given task will create 80 percent of the outputs, or results.

How does this rule apply to selling? Twenty percent of the activities you can potentially engage in on any given day will result in 80 percent of your sales results. Those 20 percent of activities (which vary by industry, product, marketplace, time of year, current situation, and even the competition) are your best practices, your critical few . One key to sales success comes down to identifying and concentrating on the critical few activities every single day that will propel your sales growth the most rapidly. Start each day with a six-pack (not beer!): identify and execute the six most important activities that need to be completed to move your business forward the fastest.

6) The Power of Resiliency
Top sales producers have a simple but powerful advantage over average sales producers. They know that sales is not "the big easy." They accept that truth. And then they make the decision to take full responsibility for every challenge and setback, and to pursue victory until it is theirs. The only way to become great in selling is simply to accept that adversity is part of the program and then to decide that you will not only persevere, you will prevail . Paradoxically, once you know that sales is tough-once you accept that the flight to sales stardom is a turbulent one-then sales is no longer quite so difficult.

Fear of rejection is a major crippler. One of the most important realizations you can come to is that the dread of making the call is worse than the pain of the call itself. The way to desensitize yourself and overcome the fear of cold calling or sales rejection is to simply go out and do that which you fear. Ultimately, pushing through the fear is less frightening than living with the underlying, vague anxiety that comes from self-protective strategies.

7) The Power of Relationships
Sales superstars are client-centric . They focus on serving at such a high level that their clients are wowed by how they do it. One way that sales masters provide outstanding service to their buyers and create higher levels of trust is to initiate them after the sale and welcome them into their own special club. Clients appreciate personalized service after the sale and the feeling that they're important to the salesperson. Here's an example:

Sally Z., a real estate sales star, gives every single property buyer (even those whom she didn't list) a customized notebook embossed with their names. The notebook is filled with everything a new property owner could want such as relevant phone numbers (including her own), the contract, tax information, hand-sketched diagrams showing pertinent information about gas, water, and electrical switches, and an area map. Buyers don't usually expect such service, and they remember Sally when they want to buy again, even if she hadn't represented them previously.

Mastering these seven special powers and making them part of your DNA is certainly not easy. Volumes could be written about how to do that (in fact, one has! If your appetite has been whetted to learn more, go to or your favorite bookstore and order your own copy of Power Selling ). But it's clear that integrating these powers requires stepping out of your comfort zone.

Living in the comfort zone is like sitting by the edge of the pool when you're afraid to get in. You want to know how deep the water is, how cold it is, and who's on duty as a lifeguard. Fagetaboutit-you must dive in! Getting out of the comfort zone and breaking through to the bold zone-the zone where sales revenues climb from so-so to truly sensational-is difficult. It can't be done overnight. But it always starts with just a single, determined first step. You must summon your courage, take the leap, make the plunge, and leave hesitation behind. Clinging to what's comfortable is no way to live a rich, full, prosperous life.

Author's Bio: 

George Ludwig is a recognized authority on sales strategy and peak performance psychology. An international speaker, trainer, and corporate consultant, he is currently the president and CEO of GLU Consulting. He helps clients like Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, Northwestern Mutual, CIGNA, and numerous others improve sales force effectiveness and performance.

Though it's George's strategies and processes that help corporations increase productivity and performance, it's his tremendous energy and dynamism that spark the transformation. Again and again, clients remark on his amazing ability to unleash human capacity and inspire men and women to break out of their comfort zones. The result is a whole new type of salesperson.

George is the best-selling author of Power Selling: Seven Strategies for Cracking the Sales Code and Wise Moves: 60 Quick Tips to Improve Your Position in Life & Business. He’s also a columnist and frequent contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, and numerous business radio programs. Having gained a reputation as a thought leader in his industry, he is frequently interviewed for trade publications and newspapers.

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