Success Formula

There is a Selling Success Formula that ALWAYS works.

I started out in sales with no net (AKA, straight commission or “eat what you kill”) and no company-provided leads. The job was clear from the start. They provided the service, they gave me some product training and some collateral material, and I was to hit the streets and bring in business. The sales ‘training’ consisted of a 2-inch thick binder that was created for the franchise owner, not for sales people. The parts that were useful were about ¼ inch of the entire tome, and much of that was frankly so lame that I soon learned to disregard it.

Getting ‘Good Leads’

Because of my bootstrapping beginnings, I never have quite comprehended sales people who complain that their company doesn’t provide them with good leads. My friend and sales trainer/coach Judy Hobeman includes in her current-day presentation a picture of her old “leads” source from when she started out selling. That source looks a lot like mine did. It was called THE YELLOW PAGES.

Any sales person who thinks that they are entitled to company leads is losing sight of their job. What they are really saying is that they want the company to provide them with a list of pre-qualified people who want to buy. Here’s the question, and I ask this as someone who has been a lover and advocate of sales people for many decades: why would a company hire professional sales people to close business that is pretty much ready to sign up?

Wouldn’t it be easier to make an automated order form and just take the orders online?

Don’t misunderstand me. I love being an order taker! That’s the dopamine rush for any sales pro. But the WORK in selling happens before that satisfying win, and that is why great sales people are paid so well – or should be.

Ten Simple Steps

Tom Hopkins reduces selling to just two elements:

  1. Find the people to sell.
  2. Sell the people you find.

I’m going to expand that to ten simple steps. Get really good with these, and the rest will fall into place.

It starts with your INTENTION. This is how you start the day. If you want to be successful in selling, simply get up in the morning and decide you are going to help someone. If you are not clear on that from the start, there is nowhere to go. The motivation and intention that starts your day is the biggest factor in your success.

Next you need to figure out HOW you are going to help people. Obviously, this is your product/service offering, but – less obviously and more importantly – it actually is what that product/service does for people. It is the problem and pain you remove from people’s lives that would make them want to part with something of value to you (money) in exchange for something of value to them (a better way of living and doing business).

NOW, it’s a matter of finding those people, the ones who need to be served, who have the problem you are in the business of fixing. How you do that is as varied as the databases and events that are happening in the world. You just have to start looking in the right places. When you find them, you can proceed to the next step, which is building a relationship with them.

Then you help them, serve the hell out of them, and WOW them.

Follow up to thank them, get referrals, and earn testimonials.

That’s it. Anything else you learn is icing on the cake.

The List

Here’s that list again for you to copy and post somewhere or carry with you.

  1. Get up in the morning and decide you are going to help someone.
  2. Figure out how you are going to do that.
  3. Find them.
  4. Build relationships with those people.
  5. Help them.
  6. Serve them.
  7. Wow them.
  8. Thank them with a follow-up.
  9. Get referrals.
  10. Earn testimonials.

Do these 10 things routinely, and your selling success with be mind-blowing.

Michael Stammer is a Sales | Life | Performance coach available for individual and group coaching and speaking to organizations. For more visit

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