Doug Dvorak's Blog

The Sales Professional that Makes the Future

There are a lot of salespeople out there doing the best they can. You probably already met a few when you began in the business, and as you become more successful, you are going to meet more of them. These people are your peers, and while the names and faces may change over time, there are certain principles that will remain the same. The question is: what sort of salesperson are you? Are you someone who is setting the trends, or someone who is following them? The hidden secret is that there are benefits to being both, and either is better than neither.

A Future in Sales Starts with You

To be clear, the person who sets the trends has a distinct advantage over the people who follow. As a trendsetter, you will be able to ride the first wave, which means more momentum to carry you further. That does not guarantee that you will be able to go longer than anyone else, though. Resting on your laurels is one way that those who innovate shoot themselves in the foot. If you are someone who innovates, then you will have to temper that with perseverance.

Following Maps is Not a Sin

You will often hear sales motivation experts and professionals talk about the sins of being a follower, and the virtues of being a leader. What is rarely discussed is that it is the “first follower” that makes the leader worth following; if you are someone who follows a course another has charted, you are showing others that it is worth following in the first place, making you a leader yourself. For those who are developing team-based strategies, being a follower is an important position because it sets a precedent for others. That can lead to much larger collective gains than a single trendsetter could do alone.

History is Written by the Winners

It is no myth that those who succeed will be the ones who are studied and followed afterward. Regardless of how you began your path toward success, the most important part of continuing to be a strong salesperson will be maintaining and gaining momentum. We all remember the names of several popular brands of products, but we do not always know the people who invented them. Likewise, you have a brand to push. Put it before yourself, and with time, it will carry you toward greater heights.


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