A Run in Her Silky Sheer Black Stockings
As she slowly pulled the sheer black nylon stocking up along her shapely leg, her bright red fingernail caught at the edge, causing a fresh run to skittle down her thigh toward her shimmering midnight calf.
OK, as much as I love them, that’s about all we’ll be talking about black stockings in this article. But sex sells, and now I’ve got your attention. And this is important—million-dollar-seller-success-secrets important! Let's get to it!"
I’ve done dozens of these "Be Bold" blogs, and possibly the most impactful entry—at least based on response and follow ups—was the one called "A Touch Is Still a Touch," which revealed the success secret of a HALO Branded Solutions multi-million dollar producer. I suggest you read that article because it is important. But, in a nutshell, that secret was longevity. The producer determined that it takes 13 touches to turn a prospect into a client, and most salespeople quit after the first or second touch. Most excellent sales people quit after the fifth or sixth touch.
Damn, that’s important information. Success now is quantified. Work harder, don’t give up and you will prevail. Awesome.
That was a couple of years ago, and in that time, I’ve asked a HALO Branded Solutions million-dollar producers what their secrets are, and I’ve gotten many different, interesting and important answers to questions about stellar success. I’m going to share some of them with you here and now. Because I’m a giver.
I asked a $3-million producer flat out—what is your secret? Unlike the previous secret, 13 touches and longevity, his answer was different but equally vital.
“My secret is speed—speed in every response to clients or prospective clients," he said. "A fast response trumps a perfect response every time. Most people are either slow, non-responsive or agonizing over every detail. When a client finds a resource who is fast with information, he’ll return to that resource again and again because we are all so busy, and time is critical and limited.”
Such a great answer. Combine speed with longevity and you’ve really got something!
My follow-up question was: What is the one thing you do consistently, every day, that you feel contributes to your success? His answer was quite interesting.
“I have a deep feel for and understand my tempo," he said. "Each day, I check in with myself and where I am. Is my bucket full? If not, I raise my temperature as needed and fill my bucket. I’m never in control of losing business, but I am in full control of my activity. To build or rebuild your business, you must have a full bucket to work on!”
Another superb answer, and one that relates to directed activity and effort. If you are being reactive and bouncing off the walls, you are a racing power boat without a rudder. If you are in control, a confident professional with a feel for where you are and where you need to be, you will set a course, stay the course and arrive at your destination. The only other options are failure or mediocrity—neither one is acceptable.
The next question was about the bucket itself. How do you determine which large clients or industries to go after? How do you hook them?
“I think about what I’m interested in, and who are the whales in those business communities," he said. "And who can grow to become a whale! If I’m passionate about that industry, I can speak its language and I understand who its customers are. As far as ‘hooking’ them, I am a chameleon-listener. This means I have the ability to really listen and respond in the ways that they like to buy. I am friendly and factual. I don’t get social unless they go there.”
Yes, there it is—the art of listening again. I’ve written two blogs about this virtually lost art. This multi-million-dollar producer is confirming it. Scour through the "Be Bold" blog archives and find the two articles about the art of listening, and read or re-read them—and be sure to flex your listening muscles often.
Finally, I asked about how much effort he puts into new clients or referrals, and how elaborately he’ll respond to a request not knowing what might come of it.
“I have my trusted base of clients who get my full attention, they already are vetted," he said. "For a new one, I don’t go over the top and drop everything. I give a little and gauge the response. If the client keeps saying ‘yes,’ I keep going until we conclude our first deal. I rate my clients and put them into three categories—red, yellow and green. Red [clients] are difficult clients or wheel spinners—I charge them more. Yellow [clients] are the average customers—they have a reasonable volume, [and] with an average effort I land orders with task-oriented buyers. Finally, my green customers have a high volume of business, take up most of my time and they value what I do for them!”
This is a high-achieving salesperson who is in charge of his accounts, not vice-versa. He is confident, and confidence breeds success. I love the powerful, in-control way he looks at his day, his tasks and his career.
Meanwhile, I’m going to stop by the mall on the way home and pick up a pair of sheer black nylons for my wife to wear tonight. Why? I’m a giver.
Be bold. Be different. Be memorable.
Rick Greene, MAS, is the Western regional vice president of HALO Branded Solutions, a past president of SAAC and is on the PPB editorial advisory board. His comic fantasy novels “Boofalo!” and “Shroom!” are available on Amazon.com. Buy one! Or Both! Or all three, even!