From the beginning of my sales journey I wanted to make myself valuable to the marketplace in order to quickly establish myself as a solid professional and build a successful career. Starting out I had a lot to prove to my family and to myself. I had no idea how the road would unfold before me – the various sales opportunities that would come into my life or how God would even honor all of my past disappointments and struggles. I was determined to succeed. I moved forward and continued to grind, as giving up was not an option.

The beginning of my journey

My journey started in Austin, Texas back in 1977  – most of you reading this weren’t born yet, and some of you weren’t even an idea! While I was a stay at home mom, I also wanted to have a career. I was lucky to find a company I really loved and believed in, and I really loved their products. I could stand behind my sales because they offered high quality merchandise with a lifetime warranty. I quickly  sought out a mentor within the organization; an experienced pro in the company.

As I began to grow my business I paid attention to other sales professionals. I watched them to identify what worked and what didn’t work. I learned a lot about myself and began to identify both my strengths and my weaknesses. I gained invaluable insight an sales experience that would help me the rest of my life. I also began to notice there were really three main types of top sales people in the country.

The Eager Beaver

As I continued to watch other sales folks and worked on building my strengths, I began to see myself first as the EAGER BEAVER.

I was hungry to climb to the top as fast as possible. I sold to a lot of people, but I never saw them again!

An Eager Beaver is the first phase of great sales evolution. This sales professional will move from prospect to prospect always excited to make the next sale. And while the Eager Beaver still closes 1 out of 7 people and meets their sales goals, they rarely follow up after the sale so fail to generate repeat business. This is the bad news – the Eager Beaver loses 50% of their sales at the end of the year. So while an eager beaver is an effective sales professional, they are not as efficient as they could be and have to start over every year!

Foghorn Leghorn

As I learned more and more about the products I was selling and developed a strong connection to the organizations I represented, I started to become a real “expert”.  I entered the next phase in the sales evolution process – the FOGHORN LEGHORN.

In this phase you are so excited about the company you work for and the benefits of the products you are selling, you have a tendency to do all the talking. This sales persona is a lot like the blustery old Looney Tunes character, Foghorn Leghorn;  always talking and have an answer for everything, but are never truly listening to the real needs of their customer.

Once I entered this phase in my career, I did get better at closing. In fact I was closing 1 out of 3, and my quota was now 81-85%. I was making my sales goals, and on the back end of my sales I was only losing 30% of my sales revenue. Things were better, but I was still missing a key element.

The Tiffany Box

As I continued to grow and evolve in my career I finally reached the third and final phase in my sales evolution – oh yes, that is the TIFFANY BOX!

Tiffany Box sales professionals understand it is all about building relationships – genuine relationships. They are authentic in their approach and are always looking to find the common thread that connects them with their customers. They know that before they can offer any solutions they must first listen and gain a real understanding of their client’s unique pain points.

These sales professionals are the cream of the crop. – they are in the top 10% of sales in the U.S. They close 95% or more of their prospects and their quota is over 107% over each year. The best part is their revenue is 50% over in keeping their sales revenue.

The Takeaway

Take a moment to perform an honest assessment and reflect on your sales approach. Are you an Eager Beaver, always looking for the next new prospect and forgetting to circle back check on your existing customer base? Are you more of a Foghorn Leghorn who is so excited to offer solutions you are not really listening to the true needs of your customers. Or have you evolved into the Tiffany Box – one who fully understands the value of building authentic relationships and gaining a full understanding of your client’s needs?

No matter where you are in your sales journey, its never too late to improve. Strive to be the best you can be… everyone wants a Tiffany Box!