ArticlesSales Training

The Truth About Sale Success!

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Bill Brooks of The Brooks Group wrote an article several years ago about his organization's research into sales performance. Bill's research partner analyzed 178 top sales performers from the United States and another 450 from Germany who, as he stated, "?were at the very peak of their game." These top sales professional were analyzed in two key areas behavioral style (personality) and core values. Here's what the Brooks Group researchers learned about sales success:

A sales or service industry professional's personality has little or nothing to do with his or her sales success levels. The Brooks research found that there was a broad spread of personalities and sales styles across the groups of sales professionals assessed and that "personality characteristics pegged to success" was not a factor in the sales success equation. In truth, the successful sales performer's personalities varied as much as the products or services that they sold! However, in assessing each sales professional, 78 percent of these top performers all shared the same basic value and that this core value was the key to a sales professional's consistent sales success. What was the value? Across two distinct cultures and a diverse group of industries the core value driving top sellers was their keen interest in making a lot of money!

What does this research mean to a sales or service industry professional?

1. Personality and style are not nearly as important to your sales or business development success as your core values.

2. If you are not motivated by "financial gain," it doesn't mean you will fail at sales. However, it does mean that you only have about a 22 percent chance that you will become a top sales producer.

3. If you're not motivated by making money, as 78 percent of the top sales producers in the study, you will most likely always be an average or below average sales producer.

4. To be a top producer you need to work for an organization that gives you the opportunity to earn as much money as possible. The "opportunity" to make money helps to stimulate this vital core value and give you the driving force needed to succeed at selling.

5. You must understand that motivation to reach the top comes from within-from your values. Your core values are part of your internal "operating system," that makes you who you really are.

6. You really need to find out what "turns you on" and then go for it. You see, there are hundreds of interests that are important to people with core values other than working toward high economic gain.

Top sales professionals and service industry "rainmakers" earn a lot of money. But as Bill Brooks says, "They also want to earn a lot of money. It fuels their self worth and sense of well being. It's how they measure their success." However, I have observed in my coaching sessions with the top producers that they have additional values that complement their drive to earn money. Most of them are also driven to solve a prospect, customer or client's problems and to meet the needs of those they sell, doing something to deserve the money they are driven to earn.

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge?, Inc. a firm specializing in sales, customer relations, and management training and development. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Deloitte & Touch?, Bank One, Jefferson Pilot, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and the best selling Building & Closing the Sale, Fifty-Minute series books and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications, Inc. Menlo Park, California. He has also authored a Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching & team development, telemarketing, and personal productivity training guides.

Virden assists clients through a unique personal coaching (telephone)program. He has taught at the Center For Professional Development, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas and the School Of Entrepreneurship, Marriott School Of Management, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. You can contact Virden at or learn more about him at

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