The sales industry has changed. The sales professional will only be successful by building a business based on integrity, hard work and an understanding of business relationships. Real estate, like any investment market, rotates through business cycles on a regular basis. Being successful in this industry is more about staying on top of your game rather than making excuses for the downfalls. Albert Einstein said ?Imagination is more important than knowledge?. In times of difficult selling, it takes imagination and determination to become successful in your field. Often, sales professionals allow certain myths to impair their ability to sell. Let?s explore a few of the more common objections and related myths: I am new in the business. Congratulations!! There are no bad habits to overcome! With a clean slate you can absorb training, mentoring, coaching, and reading material. You are a fresh page waiting to have experience fill your book. Seek out the best in your business and ask questions. As with any business, planning is essential. Not just an outline in your mind, but a written down, step by step, plan of action to success. Use your business plan as a guide; a work in progress that helps you focus on your goals. Understand that there is no power in the past, but only in the present. Whatever your experience has been, your determination in the present is what will make you successful. I don?t have the experience or training. If your company offers training, take advantage of every opportunity. If they don?t, it?s up to you. The opportunities are out there, now more than ever. Search the internet. Sign up for classes. Read books. Every day should be a training day. Build a business plan. Talk to the successful agents or loan officers within your company and absorb their secrets for success. Learn who are the time wasters and stay away from them. Prospecting is often neglected. Don?t wait for the phone to ring. Action planning is more than an open house. It takes perseverance, planning, marketing and creativity. An open house, a balloon and an Open House sign is not a marketing plan. Everything has to be perfect. The perfect flyer, the perfect script, and the perfect presentation, everything has to be ?right? before they do anything. Nothing gets done. Instead, form a daily action plan. Plan your phone calls, your meetings, your appointments, prospecting time and paper work. Leave nothing to chance. The more organized your time the more you will accomplish, even if it?s not perfect! You are your own business; invest in yourself. I haven?t figured out my niche. If you are new to the sales business, your niche is everybody. Don?t wait for the lightening bolt to hit on what you are supposed to be doing. As you gain experience, your niche will start to reveal itself. Top Producers are Unapproachable. There is sometimes an awe and respect that Top Producers have, almost like movie star status. More often than not, they appreciate a new person?s struggles and are more than happy to share. A rookie agent friend of mine knew that she needed to learn from top producers. She sought out the top four female agents in her area and sent them a blank cassette tape, a check for $50.00 and a note. The note mentioned that she was new in the business and asked if they would share some ideas on what she needed to do to become a top producer. The $50.00 check was a thank you for their time and she also supplied a pre-paid envelope. All four agents responded, refusing the check and set up a time to have lunch. Each of these successful agents mentored the rookie agent to becoming one of the top agents in the Denver area. I don?t like to prospect. Sales success results from successful prospecting. This is the number one reason why people do not achieve success in sales. It could be from past experience, improper training, lack of confidence, or any number of things that the sales person uses as excuses. Prospect your sphere. Share your information. Create a network that encourages referrals from your past clients, professional referral sources and direct spheres of influence. What sets Top Producers apart from the others? Top Producers invest in themselves. Critical to building their business is investing 10 to 20 percent of their income back into their business. They use the money to continually improve their knowledge as well as the efficiency of their business. Imagination, information, and knowledge improve their success percentages. Systems that reduce interruptions are significant for success. Arriving at the office an hour or so before everyone else allows you to accomplish a tremendous amount of miscellaneous work before anyone shows up. By 8:30am, when the office starts to fill up, you are free to be out the door prospecting. Look for ways to reduce your interruptions. Check email twice a day instead of being reactive every time the email bell goes off. Schedule specific times throughout the day to return all phone calls. Use your voice mail to update callers when they can expect return calls and a brief outline of your schedule. Note in your voice mail if there is someone else who will be able to help them immediately. Terminate unprofitable relationships. Get rid of the ?time robbers? as wasted time is lost revenue. Are the relationships, activities, and time investments giving you the rate of return that you desire? If not, consider eliminating them. Top Producers react to all situations in a responsible, positive and consistent manner. They face problems head on and keep customer service as a priority. Business is important but so are the ?life priorities?. Carefully plan your time around your faith, family, physical and financial needs. These are more important than a commission. Envision your business plans three years, five years and ten years out, and how it will affect your family. Use that business plan to create a plan designed for success by including IT systems, marketing plans, budgets, prospecting, and data base management. Top Producers understand that prospecting, sales and marketing are the key actions in bringing in the business, but they must also have a system of responding to customer service in place as well. There is no quick fix to successful sales. Every action and reaction must be carefully considered, time must be planned, and prospecting cultivated. Family is as important as business relationships. In essence, sales success isn?t easy work. Be conscious of the under achievers and look to the Top Producers as a model. You will see great results by thinking your way to the top. Tom Ninness is Vice President/Regional Production Manager for Cherry Creek Mortgage. Ninness is also the President of Summit Champions, a company dedicated to providing tools, software, and opportunities for the Real Estate and Mortgage Professional. You can contact Tom at 303-270-9600, or email Tom at [email protected] Go to www.summitchampions.com to learn more about Summit Champions.