The Secret of Success Is No Secret

People often ask about my "secret for success" in rising to the top in three distinctly different industries. The answer's simple - focus and persistence.

In my first job at Xerox, I received incredible sales training. My game plan was basic: 20 new business calls every day, 100 per week, 400 per month. I kept calling and developing new prospects all the time - always keeping a minimum of 30 prospects, ensuring I would never have a bad month or quarter. Like a diet or workout program, the only way this approach succeeded was by doing it all the time, no breaks, no exceptions.

In fact, the best sales of my life were during a blizzard in 1978 when all local business were closed. Rather than lose that time, I went out in the snow knocking on doors. The only people at work were the bosses. They invited me in, gave me some coffee, we talked - and they bought 23 copy machines from me in the next three days, still a record at Xerox.

Focus and persistence were also key to my next venture - Direct Opinions. This company featured a fantastic new idea - customer follow-up telemarketing. Just one problem: Being a new idea, I needed people to try something with no track record.

Again, I made nonstop new business calls, including a free trial offer of 20 telemarketing calls. I wouldn't give up until they at least tried the service; after all, how could anyone say no to something without trying it first? Today, the company conducts millions of calls each year from offices across the country.

This winning formula worked again when I wanted to become an author and lecturer. My book wasn't accepted by the first publisher who read it, or even the next 15. And once it was printed, people didn't automatically flock to buy it. So I sent a free book to 3,500 major businesses, figuring the CEO would read it or give it to the VP of sales. Since then I've personally sold tens of thousands of books and averaged more than 165 speaking engagements yearly.

So remember, whatever your business or industry, simply concentrate on two things - focus and persistence - and you'll have your own "secret for success."

Click here for more articles about Hal.