Definition: 'A Sales Legend is a sales person who stands above the rest. He or She will likely enjoy a great lifestyle, earn more and be less stressed than the rest. They will win, win and win again. They will be loved and recommended by customers. They are virtual team leaders, and well supported. They do not miss quota'
The Sales Legend is always working on personal, and business, networks to be truly connected.

On the business level they will be incisive in knowing who really matters, no matter what level they are in society, the workplace, or demographically.

They are great listeners, yet only speak of things that interest their audiences. They inspire people with passion, energy and personal charisma. They will hear the rumbles of the underground but never engage in idle gossip. They often enjoy a good sense of humour and demonstrate high levels of tolerance. They are trusted by their company and their clients. They will protect and grow their reputation, even taking it as far as building a personal brand.
A Sales Legend knows that who they are, and who they are perceived to be, will dictate the level of access they can enjoy and the doors that are open to them. Your reputation often precedes you, particularly in the houses of power and influence.

Ensure Your Reputation is Solid.

A Salespersons success and, to a large degree, their future career will be dictated by one thing only - their reputation. It is a profession where reputation matters more than most other professions. Doors are opened to you based on your reputation. You receive job offers based upon your reputation. You will be promoted or fired based upon your reputation (of course, your numbers also form part of your reputation). You will receive management support relative to your reputation. Thus a salesperson must protect and build their reputation as a priority in their lives.

There is no PhD in selling. If you damage your reputation, or built a poor one to begin with, then you will suffer, as you cannot just go and prove yourself with a higher degree!

Reputation is particularly important, as selling is a social career, you must depend on other people to achieve anything. It is your skill as the master of the matrix, to bring everyone together to achieve a successful sale.
You need to understand what you need to be known for, so that you stand above the rest. You need to be approachable, humble yet passionate, and exude a warm charismatic persona. You need to be focussed on winning, and be willing to take total responsibility and follow up every one and every action, every step of the way. Yet, you must do this in a way that does not cause offence. People like to spend time with you because you are respectful, and you show this by actively listening and delivering your messages in an intelligent and engaging way.

You really connect with people. You understand and use the Law of Attraction to your advantage, you spend one minute more with everyone you meet, you astound people with your campaign strategy and regularly leave your competitors agog! You are known to be a trusted adviser to your clients, a truly professional sales person.

If you do the above consistently and over achieve your quotas, you are likely either a Sales Legend, or well on your way to becoming one!

This puts you amongst the top 5% of your profession. You need to protect this reputation at all cost.

This means that you need to manage yourself, so that you do not do anything too stupid, at any time, that will destroy what you have built. This does not mean you have to be perfect. Perfect is pretty boring and irritating to most people. It does mean however, that you do know when to draw the line and pull back from the brink of criticism. This is particularly important when you are anywhere that your behaviour can be observed by colleagues or clients. However, it is a good habit to develop generally.

Let me try and convey exactly what I mean here. This does not mean you may not enjoy a few drinks, or do wild and fun things, or be adventurous. It does mean that you do not fall drunken in the street, or vomit anywhere but an appropriate place! Never engage in inappropriate humour! Stay away from illegal drug usage, even if you know your client indulges. Never take part in anything that compromises you or your client!

Now, I am not saying this because I am a 'girl', or because I am being boring - if you check my reputation you will hear that actually I am a bit of a wild child! I am saying this because, we are no longer living and working in an environment where behaviour like this is acceptable to companies, or government organizations.People, including client employees, get fired for compromising their company's reputation, or if in the public sector, for behaviour that could be criticized by the public.

Pre 1995, subject to cultural restrictions, you could probably take your client to a brothel, get very drunk together, streak at the football and it may all have been considered a good laugh! Today, that has changed.
High level salespeople just do not go there anymore, because integrity and respect are now accepted business ethics, and even fashionable!

Sales Kick Offs were notorious for salespeople behaving badly in the name of fun, and if you had good enough numbers, maybe you got away with it. In 2010 and the foreseeable beyond, you will not. You will also damage your reputation. You will unlikely have access to the corridors of power, you will be considered a loser. Colleagues are more competitive than ever, as employment becomes less available and reputations become more important. People will go after you, even if before they did not have a reason to. I do not condone this, or say that it is good, it is just cold, hard fact.

One could contend that it is a shame the fun side of work hard, play hard is vanishing from the workplace but regardless of our opinions one way or another, acceptable behaviour to maintain a good reputation has dramatically changed in just a decade or so. I am still a bit of a wild child inside, but I understand that in 2010 and beyond I have to manage that wild child much more responsibly than ever before. My reputation opens too many doors for me!

So to be a Sales Legend, you will need to fiercely protect your reputation and beware not to slip up occasionally.

Your successful career depends on it now!

Author's Bio: 

Terrie Anderson is the author of 999 Legendary Selling For The 21st Century, The Little Red Success Book, 30 Days of Inspiration and other books and publications on Success, Human Potential, High Performance Team Building and Essence of Leadership.
She continues to enjoy an outstanding career as a Sales Leader in highly competitive industries.
Terrie is an advisor to Boards of Management on Sales Strategy and Organisational Potential and she also coaches and mentors a very small group of successful people throughout the world.

In 2010 Terrie Anderson will be available again for speaking engagements for public or corporate events.

You can contact Terrie Anderson through the website with links to her professional page.

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