The Crucial Element

American writer, Elbert Hubbard, had a reputation of  ‘cuttin thru the bull’ with all his writings. The following quote does not disappoint:

“The salesman is the crucial element that makes it all work.”

He was also the author of, “A Message To Garcia,” a true story of initiative and responsibility that sold over 40 million copies worldwide.

I agree with his words about the salesman as the crucial element. I also wholeheartedly agree with the idea that the qualities of initiative and responsibility are essential to success.

The formula for sales success must include these two elements:

a. Knowledge and skill of the craft, and the art of selling,

b. The personal qualities of initiative and responsibility.

There have been tomes of material written about sales techniques, methods, techniques and practices, but comparatively little about the other vital elements of initiative and responsibility. I think that this may be one of the hidden reasons why some sales methods and techniques fail.

If you observe a natural law is being misapplied or not applied at all, you can predict trouble for the future with a high degree of certainty.

When the factors of personal initiative and individual responsibility are absent, success also becomes a pipe-dream.

OK, if it is that important, what do these words mean?

Initiative means: the ability to act first or on one’s own. It comes from the word initiate which means: to begin or set in motion.

Responsibility means: to be answerable for an act or its consequences. It comes from the word responsible which means: being a primary cause of some event or action; able to be trusted.

These two ingredients are interdependent and mutually supportive.  If either element is missing, the formula will inevitably fail.

To increase your sales-close ratio, do a careful inspection of these two factors.

1. Knowledge of and familiarity with the tools of selling.

2. Personal character of personal responsibility and initiative.

Once you have isolated the problem area, take immediate action to correct it and get back on the right track.

Your success depends on it.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2010-2030, all rights reserved


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