Do you believe truly successful salespeople make their own breaks? Paul H. Green, founder of The Green Sheet, made such a statement in the introduction to his book Good Selling!SMThe Basics . That volume and its sequel, Good Selling! SM Thirteen Weeks to Personal Success , have inspired and informed ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) since 2004.
In a new Inspiration series, I’m going to draw from these books for insights and tips to share with you, dear readers. For those who have Green’s classics on their bookshelves, I hope these articles remind you of his mastery of the business of sales and give you a boost. And for those who’ve never read the books, I hope these columns provide you a worthy introduction to the wisdom of one of our industry’s founders.
So, what does it mean to make your own breaks? According to Green, it means never being like a baby sparrow in a nest, beak wide open, expecting your ISO, employer, colleagues or current customers to feed you opportunities the way a mother bird brings food to her young. Yes, sometimes you will have a windfall like a referral that comes from out of the blue and leads to signing a major merchant account, but these sorts of things are not the real sales pro's bread and butter.
Making your own breaks means doing what you can, and all that you can, for yourself. It means working hard, consistently, day after day. It means relying upon yourself, and not on others, to make your fortune.
Now, if you are an MLS working independently, you have a great challenge before you, because the way you approach your business, plan your days and take actions is all up to you. You're on your own. But the benefits and perks you enjoy as a self-employed MLS are boundless. You may pay a greater share of Social Security tax than an employee does, but you can also deduct all legitimate business expenses from your income.
You can choose the location of your office and create a work environment that is optimal for you, from the paint on your office walls to the size of your computer monitor to the customer relationship management system you employ (if any).
Plus you set your own hours. You can sleep when you need it, eat when you're hungry, and sell, sell, sell when you are at your best. Now, it's true that sometimes your prospects' and clients' demands will necessitate that you work several 12- to 14-hour days to land a large account, or maybe you'll need to be by a merchant's side long into the night to help troubleshoot a vexing POS system issue. And sometimes you'll have slow months and feel a financial pinch.
But you are in charge. You'll never be downsized. And as long as you do all that you can to make your own breaks, you'll be headed for success in an ever-changing industry that continues to provide opportunities for those willing and able to work hard and seize them.
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