The 5 Key Attributes of Elite and Top Performers

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Elite and Top Performers are the cream of the crop. They consistently utilize all the top skills presented in this book. They are the 5 to 20% of real estate agents, the 5 to 20% of brokers, the 5 to 20% of equipment salespeople, the 5 to 10% of financial advisors and so on. They are different from the rest of the pack. They can out-sell anyone, even in the worst market conditions. I have made it my life’s work to benchmark them to find out what five key competencies make them stand out from the rest.

The first ability is that they know how to manage their emotions and feelings. They know how to move ahead and put fear, doubt, and insecurity on the back burner. They are well versed in managing their feelings, no matter what those feelings are, and they can succeed. They use the executive center of their brain to manage situations, instead of catastrophizing about outcomes that will probably never come to pass.

The second competency is that they never stop prospecting. They pick up the phone and talk to strangers. They also make connections in various segments of their industry, and ask for help from others so they may meet people who can be influencers. They are willing to go to networking events to meet new contacts. In other words, they are like bees that go out and find new resources, while the rest of the hive sticks to what they know.

Elite and Top Performers understand that there is no such thing as true rejection. They know that when they make the call, and they don’t understand or have an appropriate response to the prospect’s objection, they will not gain the appointment. The client will refuse to meet with them if they cannot demonstrate the third skill necessary for sales success: they up-level their conversation so the client becomes engaged, and engaged quickly, after giving an objection. The prospect becomes aware that just being in a meeting with this capable salesperson will bring value. The Top 10% pray for objections because they know how to use the objection to speed up the sale!

The fourth key attribute is that Elite and Top Performers follow a solid system of metrics with which they identify their prospects. Ordinary salespeople will talk about relationship selling, but not the Elite and Top Performers. They talk about an A or B or C prospect or client and they always lead with credibility, not rapport. They know that clients are primarily interested in finding a solution from a credible supplier and not interested in forming a relationship before that. Instead, they will only buy from those they perceive to be credible, respectful, and trustworthy. Lower level salespeople struggle to build rapport while the top 10% build credibility.

Fifth, Elite and Top Performers can pre-contract. This means they prepare for a meeting or call by asking for what they want. This morning I was talking to a client who doesn’t sign the contracts herself, but is a key influencer. We were setting up a conference call for next week and I said to her, “Could you give me some advice on how to make this call go well for the both of us?” and she gave me some great advice pertinent to our future call. It is natural for Elite and Top Performers to ask for what they want, whereas the average performer never would. They might hint or suggest, but since neither of those approaches are the qualities of a leader, the prospect will not respond.

Elite and Top Performers leverage their contacts and knowledge for additional gain. The same contact that I was talking to this morning belongs to a key association in her city, and because I leveraged my abilities I’m speaking there in just a couple of weeks. This will open new opportunities for me. The Top 10% leverage what they know and what they do. The important aspect about them is that they manage their energy while everyone else is just managing their time. If you are not managing your energy it doesn’t matter if you have eight or a hundred working hours in a day!

In addition to the five key attributes, there are three points of differentiation between Elite and Top Performers and the average salesperson:

  • They show up bigger than they feel.
  • They ask for what they want.
  • They give their prospects the right to say ‘no’!

Elite and Top Performers court rejection. As we give others the right to say ‘no’ to us, they feel more receptive. If you ask for what you want and give people the right to say ‘no’, you have an 80% chance of having your request granted. This one attribute alone is upside-down from average performers who only want desperately to hear a ‘yes’ and fall apart when they hear ‘no’.

Elite and Top Performers show up bigger than they feel. This means that they deliberately put themselves into situations that make them feel fear, doubt, and insecurity. They know that they are out of their league, but this does not stop them. Instead, they ask for what they want while giving the other person the right to say ‘no’, and they are amused, not devastated, by rejection. The Top 10% are the quintessential happy losers who still show up the next day, ready to sell.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming publication:

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Sara Haynes, P. Eng.
Sigma Solutions

“I took advantage of Alice Wheaton’s offer for a free 30-minute consultation…but we chatted for almost an hour, during which I had several epiphanies that have inspired and motivated me to move forward. These were ideas that I could immediately start working on to help me get new clients and increase recurring revenues. This is what I call Value on Steroids!”

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