I’ve written before about a very, very successful salesperson named Tom. The truth is, he wasn’t just a successful salesperson, he was a successful person. In every area of his life.
He sold insurance for over 40 years and for each and every one of those 40 years he was his company’s top salesperson. He once showed me one of his quarterly commission checks that was well over $1,000,000. A quarterly check! He averaged over $6,000,000 annual income, selling insurance!
Now he didn’t show me that check to brag or boast about his success. He showed me that check so I would understand what was possible if I was willing to work for it.
Years ago I ran into Tom at a large office building in Downtown Minneapolis. This was about a year or two before Tom would retire and he was standing in a hallway talking to himself.
Being the kind sensitive guy that I was my first thought was “the poor old guy, he’s talking to himself, he ought to hang it up.”
I walked up to Tom and asked him what he was up to. As was often the case his answer surprised me. He said that he was getting ready to make a sales call and he was practicing what he was going to say.
Can you imagine that! Here’s a guy who in his career had probably made thousands of sales calls, with tremendous success. Yet he was still preparing, still practicing his craft. Still doing everything he could do to get better.
He went inside to make his sales call and I walked away once again amazed. I couldn’t help but think to myself that his dedication to preparation was one of the keys to his success. He simply wouldn’t think of making a presentation without proper preparation and practice.
How about you? Do you “wing it?” Do you “know your stuff” so well that you no longer require preparation?
What Tom taught me that day was that no one will ever be that good. No one will ever be that smart. If you’re “doing it on the fly” then you’re hurting your chances for success. That’s true no matter what the “it” is. That’s true if the “it” is in your personal life or your professional life. You must be prepared to succeed!
So… let me ask you again. How good are you?