It’s interesting to me to see that some people are phenomenally successful in sales while others with similar skills, personality, training, and even drive are not.  There are lots of ways to become successful as a sales person and really there are no secrets.  But there are things practiced so rarely that they seem as if they are.

Many years ago I started a business during graduate school.  I had borrowed money to start it, and it was my only means of supporting myself.  So, of course, I was desperate to attract customers and earn income.  Sound familiar?

I took every job I could get.  And I undercut the prices of most of the competition.  Pretty soon I was very busy and working very hard.  I became a pretty effective price seller.  I also was losing my shirt working for people that weren’t paying me enough for the work I was doing to justify doing it.

To avoid getting in this position in the insurance agency business, I learned a couple of really important lessons early on from a master sales coach.  He taught me that the best day to lose a sale was “today!”

Why is learning when to lose a sale important to becoming a successful sales person?

It’s important because the time you spend with people who only want to buy cheap things from you, like a monoline insurance policy, takes time away from talking to people who will buy lots of better priced things from you, like a package insurance policy.  I learned that it works better, in terms of building a large book of business and an insurance agency, to get rid of marginal prospects as fast as possible.  They prevent rather than enable success.

My entrepreneurial coach Dan Sullivan of the Strategic Coach program puts it this way “you aren’t trying to qualify prospects, you are trying to disqualify them.”  The faster you get rid of people who are low margin, low close ratio, low retention prospects and customers the faster you will grow.

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