By Paul Reilly
Habits > Talent
Habits > Motivation

For thirty years, we have analyzed top achievers. It’s not just talent or motivation; habits set top achievers apart from the crowd. Top achievers make it a habit to do what others deem a pain. Top achievers make these behaviors habitual:

  1. PLANNING – Top achievers (TAs) routinely plan every sales call. They show up on purpose with purpose. TAs set an objective and have a clear call to action. Planning requires no talent, only commitment.
  2. LISTEN – TAs listen 60 percent of the time. And a majority of their selling time is spent understanding the buyer’s needs. Listening is a habit, not a talent.
  3. PIPELINE – TAs thoroughly review and cleanse their pipeline. They consistently fill their pipeline with high-value targets that fit the profile for good business.
  4. ACTIVITY – TAs put in the work. They maintain a high-activity level. When times are good, they make the calls. When times are tough, they continue making calls. Their activity level is the same whether it’s the first day or the last day of a quarter.
  5. TIME – TAs manage their time effectively. They ruthlessly dedicate peak selling hours to high-payoff activities. Administrivia and CRM utilization are secondary.
  6. EXPECTATIONS – TAs make it a habit of doing more than is expected. They make more calls, schedule more meetings, and conduct more demos. TAs make big promises to customers and then deliver.
  7. STUDY – TAs are students of their profession. They make it a habit to thoroughly understand their solution, the industry, and their customers.

Success is not determined by chance; it’s earned through choice. You can choose to embrace these habits and be a top achiever. It takes time and dedication; eventually, your numbers will catch up with your commitment.

Saint Augustine famously said, “Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.” Ask yourself, “Which habits are worth embracing?” Planning a call is a habit—so is NOT planning a call. Resist the wrong habits and embrace the right ones. Since habits become necessity, ensure you choose the right ones.

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