A friend of mine asked me “To what do you attribute your success?” First, I was flattered that he considered me a “success”, but more importantly, he caught me off guard, as did my answer.
I thought for a few seconds, and scanned all of the usual clichés in my mind…. “being customer focused, working hard, a unique selling proposition, delivering value, luck,” and so on.
But I blurted out a one-word answer that surprised even me…”Longevity” I said.
The conversation quickly moved on to other topics, but the next day I began to ponder how profound that answer was.
Does your sales culture and remuneration structure sustain longevity, or do you have an “eat what you kill” culture that starves your new recruits to death?
It was “longevity” that allowed me to build my business, and success certainly didn’t come over night. There were many years when I had to go into debt or dip into my savings just to stay in the game.
And there were times when I almost packed it in for other career opportunities.
I was fortunate enough to have a savings account, a wife who stood beside me, and good credit, to carry me through the “unsuccessful” days. Do you have a remuneration structure and support structure that allows new recruits to stay in the game?
Upon further reflection, here is what longevity did for me, and can do for you:
1.) Experience. You can’t expect a rookie with 90 days experience to outsell a competitor with years of experience.
2.) Confidence. Given time to get a few successes under your belt gives you the confidence to pursue more business.
3.) Learning. With time, if you make an effort to learn something new every day, eventually your expertise will be second to none.
4.) Awareness and familiarity. We all know that reach and frequency sell….and longevity simply builds more reach and more frequency for every sales person.
5.) Trust. It takes time to build trust, and over time, your prospects and customers simply trust you more.
6.) Referrals. Proving yourself over time, you will have enough referrals and build a strong enough reputation that you seldom need to prospect….referred prospects will be calling you!
7.) Timing. Timing itself plays a role. I have contacts I made ten years ago who are just now becoming clients. They just didn’t have a need when we first met.
We have all seen eager new recruits who “failed” in our business, only to become successful in their next career. Creating a culture of longevity could help you keep some of those successes in your camp!