February 2, 2010

Do You Have Enough Fuel to Win?

By Gerhard Gschwandtner

Many salespeople start their careers filled with hope, anticipation and determination. They are willing to give their very best to reach sales and income goals.

After a few years they get used to receiving larger checks and discover they are spending their money faster than ever. One day, these salespeople realize they are driven by the need to meet bigger and bigger monthly payments. Since their spending faucet is wide open, they have to carry bigger buckets to replenish their reservoir. As a result, they feel depleted and often complain about the futility of the “rat race.”What caused the shift from reaching for lofty goals to simply hustling for money? What caused the transformation from being open-minded to becoming single-minded? Most important, what happened to the hope, anticipation and determination that made selling so exciting in the early days? The answer is simple: These salespeople ran out of fuel. Of course, the human mind does not work like a machine, but just imagine for a moment that it is a special, powerful six-cylinder engine. But unlike a mechanical engine that functions well on one type of fuel, the human engine needs different kinds of fuel in order to achieve its peak potential. Imagine that each one of the six cylinders is connected to its own special fuel reservoir. These six reservoirs fuel the engine of success:

1. The fuel of higher meaning. If you dedicate your life to a higher cause than yourself, you will never want to stop contributing. Create enough meaning and you will create enough energy. If you limit the meaning of your work to money, you will soon run out of energy.

2. The fuel of joy. Never miss an opportunity to create joy for others. Decide today that it won’t hurt you to smile more often or to share a laugh with a client. Life is much more than doing business. If you put more fun into your work, you will get more fun out of your work.

3. The fuel of leadership. Seek out good leaders. Allow them to stretch your abilities. Store away their lessons and use them as a fuel reserve to get through tough times.

4. The fuel of goals. Goals are the architects of hope. If you run out of goals, all other cylinders will inevitably grind to a halt. Salespeople need to plant hope in the fertile soil of the imagination. Lack of hope inevitably leads to depression.

5. The fuel of teamwork. The days of the lone ranger in selling are history. Today’s winners are part of a successful team. If you help other people win, you will have a team of people helping you win.

6. The fuel of rewards. Enjoy the fruits of success, share the credit with your team and preserve the lessons you learned from each victory. Maintain an attitude of gratitude. View each peak performance as a refueling stop from which you can launch your next success.

If you find yourself only running on two cylinders, check your reservoirs and replenish them today. It may surprise you, but all the fuel you’ll ever need to reach the highest peaks is already stored within you. It’s up to you to release the valve that will let it flow.