What the Top 20% Really Make

You know how big I am on the 80/20 rule in sales. I see it in every company and industry I work in, and, as many of you know, I’ve dedicated myself to helping sales reps and companies elevate their skills and techniques, so they can start producing sales and income like the top 20% of sales reps do. Often I get asked just what the top 20% make in actual income, and today I can tell you…

The Associated Press, quoting figures released from the recent Census Bureau report, published an article last week revealing what the top-earning 20% of Americans make in income. They found that the top 20% of all Americans earn over $100,000 in income. While that’s interesting in and of itself, what even more important is that the top 20% are also receiving over 50% of all the income earned in the country.

Now that’s BIG. Obviously, what this means is that the other 80% of income earners are splitting up the remaining 50%. That’s a big disparity and it tells us that the top 20% not only make most of the money in the country, but that they have a much bigger piece of the pie to split up.

While being a top 20% producer and income earner is obviously a nice place to be, the next question I get is, “How do I get there?” The answer to that question might surprise you. Most sales reps I ask about this usually point to all the wrong things. They point to outside things like:

If the leads were better, or

If the economy was better, or

If I had a better product, or price, or company or training….

Here’s the real truth – the only thing that is holding you back, or will ever hold you back, is your own belief in what you think you deserve. In other words, your consciousness or comfort zone. The real cause of your income, your health, your outside anything, is the image or picture you hold of them in your consciousness.

The universal truth is that: What you hold in your mind’s eye is always manifested out. One of my favorite authors, Dr. Robert Anthony puts it perfectly in his book, “The Advanced Formula for Total Success”:

“Your ability to accept (financial success) is determined by your consciousness. We all know people who have more money than they know what to do with, and we all know many people who never have enough. Why the difference? If a person who has virtually nothing is given a large sum of money, within a very short time that person will have nothing again. If we divided all the money in the world equally, in a short time the rich would be rich again, and the poor would be poor.

Many people think that if they could just get their hands on a large sum of money, they would be set for the rest of their lives. This is absolutely not true. Surveys have shown that people who receive large sums of money without working for them — those who won lotteries, or inherited wealth, for example — almost always find themselves back to their original financial level within two years of their windfall. They think that if they had money, they would pay their bills, get out of debt and start anew. But that very seldom happens. Over ninety percent of the people who win large sums of money eventually end up with no more money than they had before their winnings. Their standard of life does not increase and it is in many cases lowered because of their excess spending. The point here is that if you have a poverty consciousness or a consciousness of lack and limitation, you will literally spend yourself into poverty. If you find yourself with too much money, you will spend whenever you have in order to get back to your comfort zone.

Take all the money away from a person, who is a millionaire — one who has the consciousness of the millionaire today — and within a short time he or she will be a millionaire again. Riches start from the mind, not your pocketbook, bank account or investment. The bank account and investments are the effects, not the cause. The cause is always an idea or belief. A person is not rich because they have money. They have money because they are rich in consciousness. They believe that they are rich. Again, this is the reason that the rich will always get richer and the poor will always stay poor until they change their consciousness.”

So if you would like to become one of the top 20% earners in America, then you don’t need to change jobs, careers, or anything else “outside” of you. You just have to change the image you have of yourself and become rich in your consciousness first. That is the real secret to your success.

The iPhone App I’d Like to Own

Your results in sales – and all of life – are completely dependent on what you think about all day long. Your thoughts lead to your actions, and it is your actions that determine your results. But everything starts by your mental attitude, by what you dwell on all day long.

I’m sure that you’ve heard this before, and you may even believe it’s true, but if you do not act on it, then you’re no better off than if you’d never heard this before. I once heard that someone who doesn’t read is no better off than someone who can’t read. In fact, if you’re like most people, much of your self-talk and attitude, through most of the day, would indicate that you don’t know the law of the mind, or that you don’t really believe in it.

Most people’s thinking is really negative. It is pervasive and happens so quickly, that most people don’t even realize how bad it really is. And because we’re talking to ourselves at a rate of about 60,000 thoughts a day, we receive a lot of negative input from our own minds. Even our conversation is often negative, and I’m sure you’ve caught yourself or others complaining about the economy, the government, the leads, the weather, etc…

Imagine now that there was an application available for your iPhone (or other device you have) that would begin recording every thought and word you had and said from the moment you woke up in the morning to the moment you went to sleep that night. Imagine that it kept a perfect record of everything and that the next day you could hear it all, word for word, thought for thought. How scary would that be?

Now imagine this: You have such a device with you at all times and it is called your subconscious mind. It not only records everything you say and think, but it also records every feeling and emotion you feel and it believes it as if it was the truth. It then makes sure that you act in direct accordance with the truth as you believe it to be and that becomes your experience and your results in life.

This is the great law of being (some call it the law of attraction), and it is the most important concept you can learn and apply in your life. Just remember this great truth: You future is being shaped right now by the thoughts and feelings you hold in your consciousness today. So if you bought that new iPhone app, what would it be recording?

What Kind of Closer are You?

There are two kinds of sales philosophies out there and while they both accomplish the same thing – closed deals – they go about it in very different ways and with very different consequences to the closer. I’m very familiar with these approaches because I’ve practiced both of them, and in my consulting and coaching I constantly run into both attitudes.

On the one hand is what I’ll call the serious closer. I used to be this kind of closer, and, when I was, the only thing that mattered was how many deals I closed and how big my paycheck was at the end of the week. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying this is a bad thing and I can tell you that I sure made a lot of money. But there was a downside to it.

The main downside was that I based my entire self-esteem on how well I did as a closer. If I had a good month then I felt good about myself, but when I didn’t do well I tended to get anxious and depressed. I could be moody, and I often projected my attitude and self-esteem on others. I looked down on those who didn’t perform at the top and after a while I lost my empathy for others and eventually for myself.

Another problem was that I was driven to succeed all the time. While this might sound like a good thing, the flip side of it was fear. There were many evenings and mornings I would wake up in fear of not making or exceeding my quotas. This fear drove me close sales at all costs, and in the end I cared more about closing sales than I did about what was in the best interests of my clients.

While this may seem like an extreme attitude, the push for profits, for making quotas and for succeeding in business often supports and rewards this kind of a sales mentality.

After years of pursuing sales in this way, a slow transformation took place and I developed into what I now refer to as an “of service” sales professional. While I’m still all about closing deals, today I go about it in a very different way. Today I’m more concerned with finding people and companies I’m a good fit for and then looking for the maximum ways of being of service to them. I’m more interested in helping today than I am in closing at any expense.

There are many benefits to this new attitude and one is that today I don’t have the kind of financial fear that I used live with. These days when I wake up in the morning I have a ritual of meditation where I now ask the spirit of the universe to put me in the position to be of maximum benefit to the people I encounter. As in all my meditation and affirmation sessions, I always end with a visualization of many companies and people contacting me with the specific needs that I am uniquely qualified to help with.

After many years of practicing this kind of sales philosophy, I can tell you that as long as I continue to take action, remain positive, and stay focused on being of service, I have all the business I can handle. I also have a peace of mind and a calmness that sees me through times when the economy changes or the seasons change. For that I’m truly grateful.

Today when I work with clients in a coaching relationship, the one common thing theme I find is a constant worry and anxiousness about not having enough money or not being successful enough. The answer to that, I’ve found, is to examine their core sales philosophy. “Are you trying to get or to give?” I ask them. Once we get straight on fundamental question, the business flows in a much easier and enjoyable way.