Welcome To My First Top Salesman Blog

I had spent the whole day preparing for a heavily contested product presentation in our largest account, practicing my pitch and honing my messaging. As I walked through the office my teammates told me to "lighten up" believing it was a foregone conclusion that I would secure the mandate. Their assumption that this was already a "done deal" frustrated the hell out of me because it showed how little they understood my mindset or methodology. I never took any pitch for granted and always over-prepared for every eventuality.

I was the top salesperson in the team, not only at that time, but also in a variety of roles for a good proportion of my career. Sales statistics can only ever tell part of the story, but in that particular year, of 153 competitive pitches my win rate was above 90%, closing 6 of the top 10 largest transactions in Europe for our type of solution.

My colleagues had often suggested that sales success came easily to me. In some respects, it did. The job I was doing perfectly fit with my personality and goals, but what they had failed to appreciate was that this wasn't by chance. Long before joining the company, I had carefully researched and chosen this specific job to best position myself to succeed. In my new book ‘The No.1 Best Seller’ I share the impact which this simple lesson had on my sales career.

The process of becoming a top performer requires constant learning and personal reflection. My own journey led me to appreciate that being a top salesperson required a rigorous combination of a trained mindset, drive and methodology, and that it also brought a set of challenges and obstacles unique to the sales industry. In the past I was accused of being a glory seeker, a hired gun and not a team player. Colleagues told me that I only "hunted whales" and wasn’t interested in working with people who didn’t share my perspective on selling.

On the surface I think these criticisms were fair, but the reality was that all my actions were driven by an intrinsic motivation to achieve my personal goals - to maximise my income and drive the business forward. I was always careful to align my goals with those of the company for which I worked, and understood that achieving my targets required I stay focused at all times to minimise the impact of the many obstacles and distractions that are so often present in highly driven and politically motivated sales environments.

A long and successful sales career is far from straight forward. It takes time to nurture your ambition, temper your natural responses and learn from your experiences to become a true sales professional. My attitude has always been to do "whatever it takes" to win the deal and deliver a great outcome for the customer. This approach has served me well, but it has also taught me my limitations along the way.

The primary aim of this bimonthly blog is to share my experiences, sales methodology and insights with my fellow sales professionals. I hope you enjoy it and would welcome you to connect with me on social media or drop me a line with your comments, feedback or ideas for future articles.

My next blog will discuss The Most Feared Sales Objection...