30/05/2012 - 10:37

Are you a rock star or just a backup singer?

30/05/2012 - 10:37


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When you hear a boss talk about their best salesperson, they often refer to him or her as a 'rock star'.

WHEN you hear a boss talk about their best salesperson, they often refer to him or her as a ‘rock star’. It’s the highest praise your boss can give someone on your team.

Every salesperson aspires to be referred to in that manner, but very few make the grade. Many have the talent. Many get to the top of the charts for a month or two. Many make it to number one, and burn out. What’s your rating on the top 100 chart?

If you’re a rock star, it means: you have superior talent, you can play, and sing; you can harmonise with everyone else in the band; you write song lyrics that others identify with; your fans don’t just like you, they love you; you have a confidence, a swagger; you are a leader, at least of your own band; you are respected by your peers as a talented player;
people write about you; people will pay to see you play; people want (and will pay for) your autograph; and you have proven yourself over time with consistent quality.

It also means you know the business of rock and roll, you have real wealth, not just money, you could qualify for the rock and roll hall of fame, and you could become a legend.

How do you view yourself?
Are you the Bruce Springsteen of the E Street band?
Or are you just a roadie? Most salespeople would like to think of themselves as a rock star, but don’t display the talent to match their definition. The fact is, someone else referring to you as a rock star is more powerful than you calling yourself one.

But there’s much more to it than that.
Did you ever think about what it took for a rock star to become one? To achieve in the face of doubting people or naysayers, to face rejection after rejection, to spend endless hours practicing and rehearsing, to hone their skills and craft – and then to achieve the acceptance of others? 

Make some sales, and some more sales, and finally a number one song, and a sold-out concert.

No wonder so few people make it.
And yes, there is a dark side to some rock stars. They become self-abusive. Many put their own lights out early. Luckily in sales, there’s not that much time to get into trouble.
It’s true, not all rock stars are pure , but neither are regular people.

Rock stars, like anyone else, have to show discipline and take consistent good actions. Kind of like you.

Think about some rock stars of the past few decades –these people (and lots more like them) achieved their status by putting in years of hard work. All of them love what they do. They wouldn’t trade their position or situation for anything in the world. They rose from humble beginnings to stardom by taking advantage of their talent.

How are you taking advantage of your talent?
How much do you love what you do? How hard are you willing to work?
How positive can you remain in the face of obstacles?

The love of what you do, combined with your belief in what you do, will not determine your success. It will determine how hard you will work and how dedicated you will be to achieve it. Success just shows up from there.

If you want to become a sales rock star, I think that’s great. If you want others to refer to you as a rock star, I think that’s greater. And if you are willing to apply the disciplines that it takes to emerge as a rock star, I think that’s the greatest, and I support you in every way.

Note of coincidence: For the past 30 years of selling, I have always played rock and roll music on my way to a sale. It sets my own internal positive and upbeat tone. If you want to become a rock star, the first thing you gotta do is learn how to rock.


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com 

© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.


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