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How to Be Part of 20% Doing 80% of Sales

Book review of "How to Beat the 80/20 Rule"

January 9, 2006


photo of Paula Parisot
Paula Parisot

buy "How to Beat the 80/20 Rule"

Recognizing the right attributes, developing the right style and formulating the right plan are among the many sales success ideas discussed in one book -- which emphasizes that each salesperson should focus on his or her unique strengths.

Most salespeople have heard of the 80/20 rule in selling. For those who haven't, it is based on the premise that 80 percent of sales is done by just 20 percent of salespeople. In other words, top performers are bringing the bulk of the business while the rest bring in far less.

Alan Rigg, sales trainer and author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: Why Most Salespeople Don't Perform and What to Do About It 2nd Edition, explains that the top four critical attributes for superior selling performance include sales drive, emotional toughness, reasoning ability, and service drive. Without these attributes a salesperson would lack the passion, perseverance, analytical ability, and customer service that is necessary to succeed.

These attributes, in varying degrees, coupled with the correct selling style could be the formula for sales success. For example, a consultative selling style would necessitate all of the aforementioned attributes but puts reasoning ability first and foremost, "as the basis of this selling style is the ability to ask excellent questions and rapidly abstract conclusions from the answers," the book explains.

Conversely, a "Hard Closer" tends to have more sales drive and emotional toughness with a low reasoning ability and service drive, the book says, making this selling style good for those who work in a market that have an unlimited number of prospects.

Developing a selling style depends on the salesperson's character, which also has an effect on developing an effective prospecting plan. After identifying the best prospects, the book says, "decide which types of prospecting activities will provide the best opportunities to interact with your target prospects."

"Also, try to choose activities that match your talents and interests," Rigg says.

If a salesperson has a talent for writing, Rigg suggests writing articles and submitting them to a local business journal or newspaper. Or speaking, he points out, can increase credibility and establish a salesperson as an expert in their field.

Paula Parisot is a MortgageDaily.com feature reporter and a blogger at CloserBlog.com who has also worked in the mortgage industry.

e-mail Paula at: [email protected]

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