Brian Tracy Talks About Achieving Unlimited Sales Success

A Conversation with BRIAN TRACY

  • Question:  Why are some salespeople more successful than others?
Brian Tracy: "I asked myself that very question when I started selling many years ago. My first breakthrough was the discovery of the 80/20 rule. It says that 20 percent of the salespeople make 80 percent of the money. That means the average income of the people in the top 20 percent is sixteen times the average income of the people in the bottom 80 percent.

When I first heard that statistic, I was both inspired and discouraged. I just did not think that being in the top 20 percent could be possible for me. Then I learned another fact: Every person in the top 20 percent started in the bottom 20 percent. Everyone at the front of the line of life started at the back of the line. I immediately made a decision to be in the top 20 percent.

Making a decision, of any kind, and then taking action on that decision, is often the turning point in your life. People who get to the top of any field get there after they make a decision, and then they back up that decision with hard, hard work, month after month and year after year, until they make their decision a reality."
  • QuestionWhat exactly do you mean by "hard, hard work" in sales?
Brian Tracy: "That's where the 80/20 rule also applies, but in a different way. It says that 80 percent of success is mental and emotional, not technical and physical. The most important determinant of sales success in any field, in any economy, in any market, with any product or service, is self-confidence. The higher your level of self-confidence, the bigger the goals you will set for yourself, the faster you will bounce back from rejection and disappointment, and the more you will achieve in a shorter period of time."
  • Question:  How can a struggling salesperson in the bottom 80 percent gain self-confidence?
Brian Tracy: "Self-confidence is determined by your self-esteem. The more you like yourself, the more confidence you have. The more you like yourself, the more you like other people, including your customers. The more you like your customers, the more they like you right back, and are willing to buy from you, and recommend you to their friends.

Psychologists will say that everything you do in life affects your self-esteem in some way. Almost everything you do is to either build your self-esteem or protect it from being diminished by other people or circumstances. Your self-esteem is the 'reactor-core' of your personality that determines your levels of optimism, self-respect, and personal pride.

Everything you do to build your self-esteem also builds your self-confidence. When you truly like yourself or love yourself, and see yourself as a valuable and important person, you become more positive and cheerful and completely unafraid to call on customers and ask them to buy from you."
  • Question:  How can a salesperson go beyond asking customers to buy to getting them to say yes?
Brian Tracy: "A critical factor is 'positioning' -- how the customer thinks and feels about the person doing the selling. Your positioning in the customer's mind and heart is perhaps the most powerful factor in determining how much you sell and how quickly.

Thousands of customers have been interviewed over the years and asked specifically what they thought about the best salespeople who called on them. They consistently described top salespeople, in every industry, worldwide, in three main ways -- as a friend, adviser, and teacher.

When your customers begin to think of you as a personal friend who just happens to be in the business of selling a product or service that they purchase, they will remain loyal to you.

When customers begin to see you as an adviser, as the go-to person in your field, they eventually reach the point where they will not buy from anyone else but you.

Customers also saw top salespeople as teachers who not only showed them how to best benefit from the product or service they were selling, but also took the trouble to educate them on the background and side issues pertinent to making the best choices.

Being a friend, an adviser, and a teacher to your customers is called the Golden Triangle of Selling. It applies to every salesperson: When you become fluent in each of these strategies and use them simultaneously, your sales results will soar. Your customers will be happy. They will buy more from you, and you will earn more than ever before."
  • Question:  Isn't this all about building relationships with customers?
Brian Tracy: "Indeed. Everything today in selling is relationships. And the keys to successful relationship selling are trust and credibility. When you think over your life, you will find that the most important people in your life are also the people you trust the most.

Without trust, no sales relationship is possible. Credibility means that people believe in you and are confident that your product or service is good for them and that you will fulfill your promises.

Earning a customer's trust, and establishing your own credibility, begins with asking a series of well-prepared questions and listening attentively to the answers. The more you demonstrate your desire to understand the customer's needs, through asking questions and listening to the answers, the more the customer trusts you and believes in you.

To become a successful salesperson -- to join the 20 percent of top salespeople who make 80 percent of the money -- you must become a relationship expert. Always look for ways to reassure your customers that the relationship is important to you. The more emphasis you put on your sales relationships, the more sales you will make and the more successful you will be."
Brian Tracy, co-author of Unlimited Sales Success: 12 Simple Steps for Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible, is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a com­pany specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. The world's leading sales trainer, Tracy has reportedly trained more people in more industries and more countries than any other sales trainer alive, and is the bestselling author of 55 books that have been translated into 38 languages. He lives in Solana Beach, California.
For more information about Tracy, you can visit, and follow Brian Tracy on Facebook and Twitter.
This posting's conversation with Brian Tracy is adapted from UNLIMITED SALES SUCCESS: 12 Simple Steps for Selling More Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy and Michael Tracy (AMACOM; October 2013; $22.95 Hardcover; ISBN: 978-0-8144-3324-9).


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