The Art Of Closing The Sales: Double Your Productivity, Double Your Income

02/03/2023by dang tin0


He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.
—Victor Hugo

YOUR ABILITY TO MANAGE YOUR TIME CAN BE THE CRITI-cal factor in your success as a sales professional. The quality of your time management often determines the quality of your life.

When I first began selling, I saw time management as one of many subjects that I considered in the course of mysales career. I saw it as a planet that orbited around the sun of my life. It was only when I realized that time management is the sun of my life, and that every thing else going on is merely planets that orbit it, that I began to double and triple my efficiency. You can do the same.

How You Think About Time

How you think about your income largely determines the amount of money you earn and how much you accomplish. Average salespeople think about their income in terms of how much they make each month and each year. But top salespeople think about their income in terms of their hourly rate, and they are determined to make every hour pay for itself.

Top salespeople think about their income in terms of their hourly rate, and they are determined to make every hour pay for itself.

When you think of your income in terms of a month or a year, it is veryeasy for you to waste time day by day. According to a study at Columbia University, the average salesperson only works ninety minutes per day. His first sales call is not made until about 11:00 AM, and his last sales call is made at about 3:00 in the afternoon. In between, he is warming up, hanging out at the vending machines, chatting idly, or engaging in other time-wasting activities.

Determine Your Hourly Rate

Top salespeople, however, think in terms of how much they want to earn by dividing their annual income goal by 2,000, the number of hours in a sales year, and then committing themselves to earning that amount each hour.
For example, if you want to earn $50,000 a year, divided by 2,000, your income goal is $25 per hour. If you want to double your income to $100,000 per year, you must earn $50 per hour, everysingle hour. You cannot reach your desired income goal if you do not do the things that pay you that kind of income.
Salespeople only get paid for results. As theysay in hunting, “You can onlyeat what you kill.”

When you work for a fixed salary, you get paid the same amount as long as you show up at your place of work. But salespeople are different. Salespeople only get paid for results. As theysay in hunting, “You can onlyeat what you kill.”

The Law of Three

In our Advanced Coaching Programs for successful entrepreneurs and sales professionals, we teach the law of three. This law says that, no matter how many things you do in a week or a month, there are only three activities that pay you your desired hourly rate. These three activities account for more than 90 percent of your income. The secret to sales success, or success in any field, is this: do more and more of fewer things, but more important things, and get better and better at each of them.

In selling, no matter what the product, the only three activities that will pay your desired hourly rate are prospecting, presenting, and closing. Only when you are engaged in these three core activities are you actually working.

You Wake Up Unemployed

Salespeople wake up unemployed each morning and remain unemployed until they get face-to-face with someone who can and will buy within a reasonable period of time. Only then does the workday begin.
When we say that the average salesperson works ninety minutes per day, this is because the average salesperson onlyspends ninety minutes each day prospecting, presenting, and closing.


Another way that you can determine if you are working or not is by measuring the amount of “face time” you spend with qualified prospects each day. Your job is to get face-to-face with people who can buy, and then to sell your products or services to them. Driving to a prospect’s home or place of business, rearranging your sales materials, writing up your sales reports, and listening to music in your car may take place during the sales day, but these are not core activities. They pay nothing.

One of the simplest ways for you to double your income is to double the amount of time you spend prospecting, presenting, and closing, i.e., double the number of minutes you spend face-to-face with qualified prospects. Every hour of every day you should be asking yourself, would I paysomeone else $25 or $50 per hour to do what I am doing, right now?

If you would not paysomeone else your desired hourly rate to do what you are doing at any given time, stop doing it immediately and start prospecting, presenting, and closing. As Zig Ziglar says, “If you will be hard on yourself, life will be easy on you. But if you insist on being easy on yourself, life is going to be very hard on you.”

The Keys to Time Management

Since they are only working when they are face-to-face with a real, live prospect or customer, top salespeople do their preparation and organization work on nonselling time. They plan their weeks each weekend. They plan each day the night before. They plan and organize their sales work before the selling day and in the evenings. But during the times that customers are available, they concentrate singlemindedly on spending more time face-to-face with those customers. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Eliminate the Time Wasters in Selling


The first major time waster in selling is procrastination and delay. This occurs when you find every conceivable reason to put off getting out there with people who can and will buy from you.
Every one procrastinates. There is always too much to do and too little time. The difference between successes and failures is determined by their choices about what they put off. Losers put off the important things that could make a significant difference in their lives. Winners put off low-value tasks and activities, those things that make very little difference whether they are done or not. Stop wasting time.

According to Robert Half International, half of all working time, in all fields, is wasted. Most of this wasted time is taken up with coffee breaks, phone calls, personal business, shopping, or other useless activities that make no contribution to your work. When people do work, the average person works about thirty -two hours per week. Of this, sixteen hours are wasted and onlysixteen hours are spent doing the job. Of these sixteen working hours, many of them are spent on things that are fun and easy, rather than hard and necessary.

Resolve to overcome procrastination. The best way to overcome procrastination is to plan each day in advance, set priorities on your activities, and then make your first sales call as early as you possibly can. Get up and get going. When you launch quickly into a workday, doing something important as early as possible, you will work at a higher level of effectiveness all day long.

When you find yourself procrastinating, say to yourself, do it now! Do it now! Do it now! These words motivate you to get started. When you repeat them often enough, you drive this message deep into your subconscious mind, where it serves as a trigger to get you going and keep you moving throughout the day.
People are major time wasters. To eliminate delays, play your own game. Work your own schedule. Don’t associate with people who have time to associate with you. People are among the biggest time wasters in the world of work. Stay away from other folks who procrastinate. They will only drag you down.
In selling, no matter what the product, the only three activities that will pay your desired hourly rate are prospecting, presenting, and closing. Only when you are engaged in these three core activities are you actually working.

There is nothing wrong with drinking coffee, but do it on the go, or with your prospects and customers. There is nothing wrong with stopping for lunch, but eat it quickly. Don’t make an afternoon ritual out of lunch. Whenever possible, have lunch on the way to see customers or have it with customers and prospects. Forget lunching with coworkers. This is a waste of time and keeps you away from your primarysales activities.


Another major time waster is the incomplete sales call, requiring a callback. This occurs when you have not thoroughly prepared your presentation or taken all the materials you need for your sales call. When you are with the customer, you find that you are missing the correct order forms, prices, or materials that you need to close the sale. You then have to make arrangements to go back and see the prospect a second time, something that often does not happen.

Poor sales skills. Incompletion of the sales call can often be caused by poor sales skills. You do not know how to answer objections or to close the sale. When you arrive at that point in the sales presentation, you don’t know what to say or how to deal with it. You inadvertently activate the prospect’s response: “Let me think it over.”

As I wrote about in the introduction, when I started off selling in myearly twenties, the only job I could get was straight-commission selling, cold-calling from office to office, selling $20 memberships in a restaurant club. With the discount card, the customer could get 10 to 20 percent discounts in about one hundred different restaurants around the city. It would pay for itself with one usage. It should have been an easysell. But it wasn’t. Forget lunching with coworkers. This is a waste of time and keeps you away from your primarysales activities.

Because I didn’t know how to sell, I would cold call, make my presentation, and at the end of the sale, I wouldn’t know what to say. The prospect would say, “Well, leave it with me, and let me think it over.” I would thank her very much, make a note to call back on her in a couple of days, and go on with my work. Invariably, when I called back, the prospect was not in, was in a meeting, was not available, was not interested, or had forgotten what I had spoken to her about in the first place. It was very frustrating.


One day I had a revelation: the reason I was only making two or three sales a week was because I was continually offering to call back after the prospect had had a chance to think about it. I decided, from that moment on, that I would not call back any more. I would ask for the order, yes or no, after every presentation.
For me, this took a lot of courage. The very next person I called on, at the end of my presentation, said, “Well, it looks pretty good; let me think about it. Call me back next week.”
I took a deep breath and replied, “I’m sorry, but I don’t make callbacks.” The prospect looked straight at me and said, “What did you say ?”
I replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t make callbacks. Mr. Prospect, this is not a big decision. It is an excellent product. It pays for itself in one usage. Every thing you need to know to make a buy ing decision, you already know. Why don’t you just take it?”
And the prospect replied, “All right, I’ll take it.”


When I walked out of that meeting, I was a new salesman. From then on I didn’t make callbacks. My whole sales life changed. I walked into the next office, got the same response (“Let me think it over”), and gave the same reply (“I don’t make callbacks”). The second person I spoke to bought as well Then the third, and the fourth, and the fifth. In that one day, I sold more than I was accustomed to selling in an entire week.

The fact is that people do not think it over. Instead, they will forget you ever lived by the time you get out of the building.

The fact is that people do not think it over. Instead, they will forget you ever lived by the time you get out of the building. When you call back, they will have no idea what you are talking about or why they might have been interested in the first place.


Over the years I have learned that a primary reason for time wastage in selling is that salespeople simply do not know how to sell. They do not identify needs clearly. They do not present properly. They do not know how to answer objections intelligently. And they don’t know how to close professionally. As a result, they go from customer to customer but make few sales. All this can be overcome by improving your sales skills and increasing your level of determination.


You waste a lot of time in selling when you find yourself with a prospect, but without all the information needed to make an intelligent presentation. You may have the wrong facts, the wrong figures, or the wrong specifications. You may present the wrong price for the wrong order for the wrong materials. You may have misunderstood what the prospect said she wanted and made a proposal that does not solve the prospect’s problem or satisfy her need.


Some years ago, in presenting a building for sale to a commercial purchaser, I put together a proposal on the building with a breakdown of revenues, expenses, and expected rates of return. I had it ty ped by my assistant, but I did not take the time to review it carefully. As a result, I was off by one decimal point. Instead of a 15 percent net cash flow on investment, the proposal showed a building that yielded 1.5 percent, only one-tenth of the potential.

The prospect was verysharp. He quickly reviewed the proposal, checked the numbers, and then chucked the proposal back at me across the desk. “Why are you wasting my time with something like this?”

The numbers were wrong, and it cost me the deal. My credibility was shot. The prospect would not meet with me again. From that day forward, I have checked every number in every proposal before it went out. You should also be sure that all of your paperwork is done correctly, and check it in advance before you go to see the prospect. Never assume that every thing will be all right. As time management expert Alex McKenzie said, “Errant assumptions lie at the root of every failure.”


This weakness can cost you hours of hard work. It boils down to ignorance of the product or service you are selling. This is invariably caused by laziness on the part of the salesperson. Fortunately, it can be veryeasily overcome with time and study.

You should be intimately familiar with every thing that your product or service can do. Know what your competitors offer that is different from your product or service. Be clear why and how your product or service is superior to any thing else on the market.


When the prospect asks, “If I have this problem or need, will your product or service do this or that for me?” you should be able to answer clearly and correctly. If you aren’t sure of the answer and you start to mumble and stumble, you look foolish. The prospect instantlysenses that you do not know what you are talking about. Your credibility goes down the drain. The prospect’s interest in dealing with you vanishes. You are soon back out on the street, wondering what happened.

Good product knowledge is the foundation of all sales success. The very best salespeople I have met have memorized their product’s specifications. If they lost all their brochures and sales information, they could still give a compelling sales presentation with just the information stored in their own heads. It should be the same with you.


Thorough preparation separates the sheep from the goats among professional salespeople. The top salesperson takes the time to diligentlystudyevery detail of her product or service. She reviews and then reviews again. She takes notes. She decides in advance that no one will ever ask her a question that she cannot answer intelligently and completely. The very best salespeople memorize their product’s specifications. If they lost all their brochures and sales information, they could still give a compelling sales presentation with just the information stored in their own heads.

One of the great benefits of thorough preparation is the confidence that it gives you. When you are thoroughly prepared, you are calmer, more relaxed, and more positive. You feel good about yourself. You have a positive mental attitude. As a result, you make a positive impression on the prospect and cause him or her to relax as well. The entire sales process is smoother and easier. Preparation really pays off.


Here’s a common scenario. A salesperson sets off across town to see a prospect for an appointment. It was arranged in advance, so every thing should go as planned, right? But when the salesperson arrives, the prospect has been called out of town, is in a meeting, or cannot see him for some reason. As a result, he has wasted the entire trip, including the time it now takes him to get back to his office. Sometimes a salesperson can lose half a day because he did not reconfirm an appointment.
Why don’t salespeople bother to reconfirm appointments? Easy. They are afraid that if they call to reconfirm, the prospect will cancel the appointment. They are willing to take a chance rather than to risk the rejection that they might experience.


There are two ways that you can reconfirm an appointment without the risk of having it canceled. First, call the prospect directly and ask (even though you already know), “Excuse me, Mr. Prospect, is our meeting tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 or 2:30?”

When the prospect says, “Oh, we’re scheduled to meet at 2:00 PM,” you say, “That’s exactly what I thought; I’ll be there at 2:00 PM sharp. I’m looking forward to seeing you.”

Another way to reconfirm an appointment without losing it is to call the receptionist and ask, “Is Mr. Brown available? When the receptionist confirms that he is in the office and available, you then say, “Please tell him that this is John Jones calling, and that I will be there for my appointment with him at 10:00 AM sharp. Thank you very much.”

The advantage of calling up and confirming is that it makes you look and sound more professional. It reminds the prospect of your visit and arouses a certain amount of curiosity and anticipation. It reminds the prospect to clear his calendar and make time for you.


Sometimes when you call to reconfirm an appointment, the prospect’s assistant will say, “I’m glad you called. Mrs. Prospect has had an emergency and won’t be able to meet with you today.” You immediately respond bysay ing, “I’m sorry to hear that, but thank you for letting me know. Perhaps we could set up a new time that would be more convenient. Do you have her calendar handy ?”


With e-mail, you have a wonderful way to reconfirm appointments without any danger of them being canceled, at least not immediately. When you first set the appointment, get the person’s e-mail address. Then, the evening before the appointment, send him an e-mail confirming that you will be there at the time agreed upon. Since the first thing people do in the morning is check their e-mail, you will have reminded him of the appointment, and he will be expecting your visit. Manysalespeople also call after hours and leave a voice mail reminding the prospect of the appointment. This is another safe and effective way to confirm.


This is a major time waster, often caused by the tendency of salespeople to unconsciously avoid the potential rejection that goes with selling byspreading their calls widely over a geographic area. They will make one call in the far north of the city and then set their next call in the far south of the city, spending an hour or so traveling in between. As they drive along listening to the radio, they convince themselves that because they are in motion, they are somehow at work.

You can sometimes streamline your sales business and increase your income immediately by clustering your calls geographically. Reduce the amount of traveling time between customers and you automatically increase the amount of face time that you spend with people who can buy.

Divide your sales territory into quadrants. Resolve to work in one quadrant each day or half day. Cluster all your calls in that quadrant for that time period. If someone in the southwest wants to see you when you are committed to working in the northeast part of the city, move him to the day that you will be in his area.


After I had taught this simple process at a sales seminar, a verysuccessful saleswoman came up to me and told me an interesting story. A couple of years earlier, she had decided to get into sales as a last resort. She had no sales experience, but she needed to support herself. She tried for six months to get a sales job with a national company, without success. Finally one of their salespeople quit, so they decided to give her a chance. Within six months, she was the top sales woman in the country for them. They were amazed.

She said that her secret was simple. She divided her territory into four parts and then disciplined herself to work intensely in one of those four parts each day, four days per week. She disciplined herself not to travel between geographic areas. As a result, she spent more time with prospects, and got better and better at selling. The better she became, the more sales she made and the more referrals she got in the areas where she was concentrating. She eventually became one of the highest-paid professionals in her field in the nation.


There is an old proverb that says, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Salespeople who are nervous about calling on new people oftentimes insist upon having every thing perfectly in order before they make the first call. They use the need for more preparation as an excuse to avoid selling. Theysay they must memorize everysingle detail. They feel compelled to check and learn every line on every form. Theystudy their sales materials exhaustively. The basic rule is for you to get it 80 percent right and then launch. Become good enough and knowledgeable enough on your product to start, and then get out in front of people.

This is often called needless perfectionism. The basic rule in this area is for you to get it 80 percent right and then launch. Become good enough and knowledgeable enough on your product to start, and then get out in front of people. As Benjamin Tregoe once said, “The very worst use of time is to do very well what need not be done at all.”

You will find that the more time you spend in front of customers, the more you will learn about your product and how to sell it. There is nothing that replaces face- to-face contact and direct question-and-answer sessions with prospects.


The insistence upon getting every thing perfect before you make calls can be fatal to your success. Learn what you need to learn; get the basics down pat. But then get up and get out there with people who can buy. Every thing else will take care of itself.

The fear of rejection is like a goblin that lurks deep in your subconscious mind. When you have this fear, as every one does to some extent, it manifests itself in your creating every conceivable excuse to avoid calling on new prospects, reconfirming appointments, and meeting those people in person. Remember, overcome fear by doing the thing you fear. You eliminate the fear of rejection bysimply facing rejection so many times that fear is not a factor for you.


Manysales have been lost because the salesperson did not pay attention to what the prospect was say ing. Perhaps the salesperson was thinking of problems at home or his plans for the weekend. Perhaps he was pondering his financial situation or his relationship with his girlfriend.

In any case, when you don’t listen attentively to the prospect, you miss the nuances of what the prospect says, those subtle things that he is try ing to get across. You fail to notice the looks that the prospect gives you at certain parts of your presentation that would tell you what interests him the most about your product.


Your ability to focus and concentrate keenly on the prospect and what he is say ing is a discipline, and all disciplines can be learned. Concentration is not easy at the beginning, but it becomes easier and easier over time. (Every thing is hard before it is easy.)

Sometimes you can increase your focus and your level of attention by taking careful notes while the prospect is speaking. When you practice listening techniques that include leaning forward, pausing, and questioning for clarification, this keeps you more alert to what the prospect is say ing and, more important, to what he means by what he is saying.


Fatigue is a major time waster. But selling is hard work. It tires you out. It drains your energy. It burns up all your reserves. The harder you work and the more intensely you interact with people, the more fatigued you will be at the end of the day.

When you come right down to it, the energy and sparkle of your personality is the most important factor that you bring to the sales process. People do not buy products; they buy people. People don’t buy what you sell, they buy you—and then they buy what you sell. When you are full of vitality and enthusiasm, you make a positive impact on the person you are talking to. When you are at your very best, you make the most sales. When you’re not, you don’t.


Most adults suffer from mild forms of sleep deprivation. They are not getting enough sleep each weeknight to perform at their best during the weekdays. Don’t let this happen to you. Get to bed before ten at least five nights per week.

Many of mystudents have taken this advice to heart. They have increased their sleep from six or seven hours to eight hours per night, and they are absolutely amazed at the difference. They feel as if they have awakened from a drugged sleep. They did not realize that they were going through each day in a fog, not as sharp and on the ball as they could be.


The chances of your making a sale are ever so enhanced if you are bright and energetic in a sales conversation. The highest-performing salespeople I know are fastidious about their health and energy. Theyeat the right foods, get lots of rest, and exercise vigorously. Many of the top-paid salespeople in America are marathon and even triathlon runners.

Get a good book on diet and follow it closely. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose high-protein breakfasts, avoiding toast, bacon, sausage, and other heavy, fatty foods. Have a salad with fish or chicken for lunch. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Keep yourself performing at high levels by feeding yourself well so that you feel healthy and hearty throughout the day.

Imagine that you have become very wealthy in sales. You have fulfilled your lifelong dream. You bought an expensive racehorse, one that cost $500,000. If you owned an expensive racehorse, what kind of foods would you feed it? If you had invested all that money in a horse, would you feed it junk food, potato chips, soda, donuts, bagels, candy bars, and jugs of coffee? Of course not! How much more valuable are you than a racehorse? Just as you would feed an expensive racehorse with the most nutritious foods you could possibly find, you must feed yourself with the very best foods as well.

How much more valuable are you than a racehorse? Just as you would feed an expensive racehorse with the most nutritious foods you could possibly find, you must feed yourself with the very best foods as well. Treat yourself like the most expensive and most important person in the whole world, because you are.


Here’s another old adage: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” It is not enough to just be physically present with a prospect. What will have the greatest impact on the sale is the amount of passion and vitality you exhibit when you are face-to-face with that person.

Resolve today to take wonderful care of your physical health. The more energy you have, the faster you will bounce back from rejection and failure. Your levels of self-confidence and self-esteem will be astronomical. You will make a positive impression on every one you meet.

When you are tired, it’s much harder for you to absorb the rejection and disappointment of daily life. They depress you and tire you out even more. But when you are fresh and well rested, you spring back from every difficulty, and you sell like a steam engine all day long.


Perhaps the most important single quality that leads to high performance and sales success is ambition. To be ambitious, you must be hungry. You must have an intense, burning desire for sales success and the money that goes with it. You must get up each morning thinking, I can hardly wait to get out there!

Sales success comes from being eager to call on new prospects. When you see that bysucceeding in sales you can achieve all your other goals, for yourself and your family, your level of ambition will increase to the point where you will become absolutely unstoppable. Ambition is a wonderful thing.


On the other hand, there are people who are not particularly ambitious. Perhaps selling is not the right field for them. In many cases they have achieved a certain level, and they are complacent. They have adjusted their lifesty les to their current incomes and have no real desire to improve them in any way.
Even if you offer them prizes and incentives, they are not motivated enough to work any harder than they already are. These people may be steady, average producers, but they have no real future in the world of competitive selling.


Not long ago, I was called in to work with a large national company. They wanted me to motivate and stimulate their salespeople with ideas on how to set goals, work more efficiently, and get more done. Throughout the morning, I gave a high-energy presentation, sharing with them some of the best ideas I had learned with thousands of salespeople in different fields. But it was a ho-hum audience. Most of the people sat leaning back in their chairs, seldom taking notes, occasionally reading the newspaper or conversing with their friends. I had never seen any thing like it.

Finally, I asked one of the senior salespeople at the break how things were going. What he told me really opened myeyes. He said that this material was of little interest to him, or to any of the others. All these salespeople were unionized and received a fixed hourly rate. The average person had been with the company for twenty years. Nothing they did or didn’t do would increase or decrease their income what soever. Most of them were “lifers.” Their plan was to stay with the company for life, and then retire on a pension.


He said, “I can’t relate to any thing you are say ing. I have no ambition. I don’t care if I do more or if I do less. It doesn’t change my income or my position. It doesn’t change my responsibilities either. Whyshould I work any harder than I am already ? I like to just work myeight hours and then go home and watch TV.”

This salesman was about forty years old. I thought to myself, what a tragedy. He will probably live to about eighty, but his fire has already gone out at forty. He has no ambition or desire for anything except an easy job and night-time television. Lack of ambition is a real waster of time and talent.

Join the Top 20 Percent

One of the most powerful of all time management principles is for you to get better at the most important things you do. You know that 20 percent of the salespeople earn 80 percent of the money. Invariably, the top 20 percent have taken the time and made the investment to become very good at the key things they do. The better you get at what you do, the more money you will make and the sooner you will make it.

Remember, no one is smarter than you, and no one is better than you. Every one starts at the bottom. Every body who is doing well today was once doing feebly. And any thing that any one else has learned, you can learn as well. If someone is doing better than you, it is only because they have learned the keyskills before you have. And the proof that you can learn those skills is that they have learned those skills, starting from nothing and not knowing them in the first place.

Start Early, Stay Later

Schedule your first appointment early. Often, the people who are the hardest to get to are the ones who can see you at seven or seven thirty in the morning. Sometimes they come in even earlier.
I have found over the years that the best time to see key decision makers is before and after normal working hours. This is especially true with successful entrepreneurs and company owners. The reason they are at the top is because theystart earlier and work later. If you stretch your selling day and arrange to see them at times that are convenient for them, you can often make the best sales of your career.
The people who are the hardest to get to see usually turn out to be the most valuable customers. The ones who have all the time in the world seldom buy any thing.

Apply the 80/20 Rule to Every thing

Practice the 80/20 rule in every thing you do. Spend 80 percent of your time prospecting until you have so much business that you don’t have time to see any one else. Then spend 80 percent of your time on the 20 percent of prospects that can account for 80 percent of your business, those customers who buy the most from you.

Make a Game of Seeing People

Like a runner at the mark, when the starting gun goes off at eight o’clock on Monday morning, you get going as hard and as fast as you can. All day, everysales day, make it a game to get in front of as many people as you possibly can.
You might even play this game in competition with one of your friends at work. Each of you set a goal to call on 100 prospects as quickly as possible. See mysection on the 100 Call Method in chapter 1.

Here’s what will happen. By the time you finish calling on 100 prospects, you will be positive, optimistic, enthusiastic, and more than any thing else, extremely knowledgeable about your product or service. You will have no fears of rejection or failure left at all. You will have heard everysingle possible comment and question that you will ever get from a customer. You will know how to sell at a higher level than ever before.

Make Every Minute Count

Think in terms of minutes rather than hours. Make every minute count. Move faster in every thing you do. Pick up the pace. Develop a sense of urgency and a bias for action. Move quickly. When you get in to the office, don’t wait until the coffee is ready. Get to work. And when you start work, work all the time you work. Don’t drop off your dry cleaning, pick up your laundry, or go shopping. Work every minute and every hour.

The best time to see key decision makers is before and after normal working hours. This is especially true with successful entrepreneurs and company owners. The reason they are at the top is because theystart earlier and work later.

Make a decision to earn the reputation as the hardest-working person in your company. Don’t tell any one about your decision. Just make sure that, when any one looks at you, you are working full blast. You don’t take breaks or waste time. As far as you’re concerned, this is not play time. It is work time. If someone says, “Have you got a minute to talk?” say, “Sure, but not right now. Right now I have to get back to work!”


Don’t waste coffee breaks. When people go to college or start their first jobs, much of their day is built around coffee breaks and lunch. When they arrive in the morning, theystart thinking about when they are going to take their coffee break and begin organizing the people with whom they will take that break. But this is not for you.

Since you only get paid for results, don’t do any thing that doesn’t pay. Instead, save the time that average people take in coffee breaks and use it to increase your sales. This can have a remarkable effect on your income, and far faster than you realize.


The average person takes two coffee breaks per day at about 20 minutes each, and sometimes longer, if no one is watching. That is 40 minutes per day. These 40 minutes, times five days per week, equal 200 minutes per week; 200 minutes per week times 50 weeks per year is 10,000 minutes. That is the equivalent of 166 hours of working time, or more than one full month of additional pay that you give up by taking coffee breaks.

When you resolve to spend every coffee break doing something productive, you very quickly add one month’s salary to your income.

When you resolve to spend every coffee break doing something productive, you very quickly add one month’s salary to your income. That one-month difference in pay can be equal to buy ing yourself a new home, a new car, a vacation, or even retiring five years earlier than the average person.


Make your lunchtime count. The average person, going back to college and his first job, takes an hour for lunch each day. One hour a dayequals five hours per week. When you multiply five hours times 50 working weeks a year, it comes out to 250 hours. That’s equal to more than six weeks of working time, wasted in an activity that contributes nothing to your life.

By combining coffee breaks and lunches, and using that time to make more sales, you can quickly add two and a half months to your working year, or an income increase of almost 25 percent, from the first day. Since every thing you do repeatedly becomes a habit, effectiveness will also soon be a habit. You will habitually use your time well. You will develop the habit of earning more than any one else around you. These are excellent habits for you to have.

Learn All You Can

Attend sales seminars regularly. Before a sales seminar becomes publicly available, it has been tested and proven with hundreds and even thousands of professionals in that field. The person presenting the seminar has often invested hundreds of hours in research and thousands of hours of experience to bring this seminar together.
When you attend a seminar, you will learn some of the very best ideas ever discovered in that field. Attending seminars can save you weeks, months, and even years of hard work. I have met sales professionals who have doubled and tripled their incomes in as little as thirty days from one idea that they got at one seminar.

Put the Odds in Your Favor

The law of probabilities largelyexplains success and failure. Successful people do more things that are likely to lead them to success. Unsuccessful people do fewer things. By the law of probabilities, successful people are much more likely to do the right thing at the right time in the right way than unsuccessful people.

When you attend sales seminars on a regular basis, you dramatically increase the probability that you will learn what you need to learn to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. This doesn’t mean that every idea will be relevant to you at the moment. But if you get enough different ideas, by the law of probabilities, you will almost inevitably get the one or two ideas that can change your career for the better.

This is why the top 10 percent of professionals in every field attend sales seminars. I give seminars all over the United States and Canada, and in twenty – three other countries. Without exception, the highest-paid, most successful sales professionals in the industry are at those seminars. The low-income earners are sitting back at the office worry ing about money and complaining about how tough business is. But the top people are aggressively learning every thing they possibly can to increase their sales and their incomes.

We’ve already discussed the merits of reading in your field and taking advantage of the condensed knowledge to be discovered on audio programs. Now imagine that you read one hour per day, attend sales seminars regularly, and listen to audio programs in your car. Suddenly you can make one additional sale per day ! Once you have developed the habit of making one additional sale per day, you will automatically move up to two additional sales per day, and so on.

What kind of an impact would that have on your results and your income? Think about it! You can become one of the most competent and well-paid professionals in your industry by continuing to upgrade your skills as a part of your daily life.

Manage Your Time Well

Peter Drucker once wrote, “Action without thinking is the cause of every failure.” One of the most powerful ways for you to increase your sales and your income is to engage in advance planning.
The more time you take to think through and plan your sales activities, the more effective you will be and the more sales you will make.

Use a time management system. Any time management system will help you as long as you use it as a natural extension of your business activities. You can use a paper time planner, a Palm Pilot, a BlackBerry, or any thing else.
It always takes a little time to learn how to incorporate a new time management system into your life. But this investment in time will pay off. At a minimum, you will add two hours of productive time to your day just by using a time planner to organize your day. As you become more fluent with a time planner and with time management, you will double your productivity, your performance, and your income.

Increase Your Earning Ability

You are your most important asset, your most precious resource. Your time is the only thing that you have to sell. And your hourly rate is the key measure of how well you are using yourself. It is the best measure of how effectively you are apply ing your talents and skills to your life and to your world.
Your earning ability is your most valuable financial asset. Every thing you do to increase your earning abilityenhances the quality of your life.

Return on Energy

When I conduct strategic planning sessions for corporations, we concentrate on improving the measure of return on equity. This is the return to the owners of the company on the actual amount of money invested in the business. It is the chief measure for strategic planning and business effectiveness.

In your life, however, your primaryequity is mental, emotional, and physical. In your personal strategic planning, you concentrate on increasing your return on energy. Concentrate on increasing your hourly rate and on the results that you get out of every minute of every day.

Self-Made Millionaires

In their book The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko found that 79 percent of self-made millionaires in America were entrepreneurs and salespeople. It turned out that the most important skill for success in entrepreneurship was the ability to sell a product or service. Sales skills opened almost every door.

By the law of probabilities, your ability to sell well moves you to the front of the line in terms of financial potential. The probability of your achieving financial independence, and even becoming a millionaire, is higher as the result of being better in sales than in any other field. And there are no limits to what you can accomplish except the ones in your own mind.

Action Exercises:

1. Resolve today to double both your productivity and your income; calculate your current hourly rate and multiply it by two.

2. Plan every day in advance; make a list of every thing you have to do, and then set priorities on your list; always start with your number one task.

3. Start each day by asking yourself, what can I, and only I, do that, if done well, will make the greatest difference in my work?

4. Upgrade your skills continually ; always ask yourself, what one skill, if I developed and did it in an excellent manner, would help me the most to double my income? Whatever your answer, work on that skill every day.

5. Develop a sense of urgency, a bias for action; get up and get going early. Work all the time you work.

6. Read sixty minutes each morning, attend sales seminars four times per year, and listen to audio learning programs in your car; never stop getting better.

7. Analy ze your sales activities daily ; determine exactly how many prospects you will have to see to make a certain number of sales and earn a certain level of income; then raise the bar on yourself. Be the best!

Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time. The best management of our time thus becomes inseparably linked with the best utilization of our efforts.
—Alec MacKenzie


THIS IS THE BEST TIME IN HISTORY TO BE ALIVE MORE wealth is being created in more ways, all over the world, than ever before.

Millions of new businesses are started each year, all of them dependent for success on the salespeople who sell their products and services. Almost all the wealth being created todaystarts with someone selling something to someone else. You are, therefore, at the front of the line for higher income and financial independence.

Perhaps the most important single success principle ever discovered is learn from the experts. You will never live long enough to figure it all out for yourself by living trial and error. The good news is that all the answers have already been found. Whatever you want to accomplish, especially in selling, has already been achieved thousands, if not millions, of times. And what others have done, you can do as well.

Perhaps the most outwardly identifiable quality of successful salespeople is action-orientation. They learn about a new method or technique and they try it out immediately. When you try a new way or making or closing a sale, only two things can happen: success or failure. If you succeed, you keep on doing it, getting better and better in the process.

If you fail, if the new technique doesn’t work, you can try it again, learn from it, and become smarter and more competent. But you can’t lose! When I began selling, I made a decision that changed my life. I resolved that I would try a new method or technique five or ten times before I gave up on it.

I later learned that nothing works the first time. The development of keyskills takes lots of practice. Like learning to ride a bicy cle, you fall down a few times before you master the skill. But after learning, you can do it easily and naturally for the rest of your life.

In the same way, all sales skills are learnable. You can learn anysales skill, including closing skills, that you need to achieve anysales goal you can set for yourself. There are no limits.

Your job now is to take those practical, proven methods, techniques, and strategies and apply them over and over—until you become one of the greatest sales professionals of your generation.

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