If every sales professional understood the Law of the Iceberg there would undoubtedly be less stress, less frustration, less inconsistency, and less dissatisfaction – more motivation, more trust, more money, and more fulfillment. Guaranteed. In fact, regardless of how long you’ve been in the business, understanding and applying the Law of the Iceberg in your origination career is fundamental to increasing both your finances and fulfillment.
The Law of the Iceberg
It’s vital if you’re aspiration is greater than merely making a living – if you’re goal is living your best life. If you’re willing to re-calibrate your thinking and your approach to success according to this Law, you’ll find that your client relationships will stabilize, your earnings will surge, and your free time will swell, all to levels you never thought possible.
Living the Law of the Iceberg begins by securing your truest measure of success. That’s because in the sales business, motives mean everything. Motives dictate your mood, mentality, and moves while serving a client. And motives will make or break you when it comes to establishing loyal, lucrative relationships.
The Law of the Iceberg says that the truest measure of your success is invisible to a customer. That’s because the majority of real success occurs on the inside of a salesperson, not on the outside. Your fulfillment – not your finances – should dictate true success. Starting out to make money is the biggest mistake you can make. And if you’re in the sales business for that reason alone, you’re headed for a lot of heartache. Let me explain.
Think of yourself as an iceberg floating in a body of water. Imagine that the part of the iceberg beneath the surface of the water represents what’s on your inside: your values, your deepest desires, your mission, and your purpose in life; and the part of the iceberg above the surface of the water represents what’s on your outside: your career, your titles, your finances, and your possessions. Now, if you’ve ever read anything about icebergs, you know that very little of the mass of an iceberg shows above the surface. In fact, experts estimate that on average only 10% of the entire mass of an iceberg appears above the surface. What that means is that 90% of the mass is beneath the surface, invisible to those above the water. Simply put, what you see above the surface is not an accurate representation of an iceberg at all. It’s just the tip. And the same is true of sales success. What’s appears on the outside doesn’t accurately represent whether your successful.
What Lies Beneath
Imagine what would happen if we could saw off the entire foundation of an iceberg beneath the surface. Without it’s foundation below the water, what would happen? If it were a substantial iceberg, it would begin to sink until there was enough of it submerged to regain its balance. It would probably remain standing, but the proverbial tip of the iceberg would be much smaller than it once was (90% smaller to be precise). And the iceberg would certainly become much less stable, and much easier for the changing tide to displace.
If it were a small, thin iceberg that had its underwater base removed, the tip above the surface would most likely fall over. And, without a solid foundation, the iceberg would become slave to the ever-changing ebb and flow of the tide. In fact, without a foundation, a small iceberg may cease to be an iceberg altogether.
In similar fashion, without a solid foundation beneath the surface of your sales career, your outward success as a salesperson will never be stable or consistent. Furthermore, you’ll always have difficulty establishing trust with your clients because you’re not trustworthy. You see, most people can discern the difference between a salesperson who’s out to make a dollar and one who’s out to make a difference. And the longer you continue building your sales career without a proper foundation, the greater the likelihood that your career will come toppling down.
Let’s face it: Many people get into the selling business in the first place because they want the outward success: the big money, the nicer car, the bigger house. That’s how most sales positions are marketed aren’t they? Come work for us and we’ll make you rich is the common recruiting pitch. A nice base salary with great earning potential. You could make a killing! I’m sure you’ve heard that message before.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that more money and nicer things are wrong for a sales professional to desire. Who doesn’t want those things? As a matter of fact, material increase is a fair reward for being good at what you do. But when you try to build a successful sales business solely on the basis of attaining such above the surface things, your career is likely to share a fate similar to that of the sawed off iceberg. It will bob up and down, teeter, and eventually sink or tip over.
For over twenty-five years I have been interviewing, training, and coaching sales professionals, and the one factor I have found that prohibits them from succeeding more than any other single factor is this: lack of purpose. Most haven’t answered the “Why” question for their careers. In other words, the majority of unsatisfied salespeople become that way because their jobs aren’t aligned with a greater sense of purpose. And it shows: in their methods of doing business, in their relationships with clients, and on their faces.
Your Deeper Purpose
The problem is that they’re trying to build their career from the outside in. They’re looking for inner satisfaction from the outward things. But that’s backwards. And while the desire for money and material things (or anything else inferior to purpose) can keep anyone motivated early on, when the time between sales starts to grow, it’s rarely enough to keep one afloat.
Let’s be honest. Salespeople are notoriously gung ho out of the starting gate. We’re self-starters, highly motivated, and highly ambitious. But if time wears on and sales grow harder to come by, it becomes increasingly difficult to remain hopeful and excited about what we’re doing. And eventually, moving on to something new begins to sound much more appealing than sticking it out.
If you’ve been there, or close to it, there’s a way to make sure you don’t go there again. It’s called “pull-power,” and it’s the key to following the Law of the Iceberg.
If you’ve never taken time to determine deeper purpose beneath your career then your road to following the Law of the Iceberg must start there, beneath the surface, on the inside, before you will ever be truly satisfied and successful on the outside. But once you identify your higher purpose with regard to success and sales career, and begin to align that purpose with your activities and goals, you create what’s called pull-power, which is the greatest motivating force for the work you perform.
Pull-Power vs. Will-Power
Pull-power is the antithesis of will-power, which is merely self-generated energy that produces short-term accomplishment but rarely sustains long-term achievement. To exploit pull-power in your career you must know why you do what you do. When you know why you are selling, your answer then becomes the force that literally motivates or pulls you along, in good times and bad, when sales are red hot and when they’re ice cold. Pull-power is your inner accountability, your constant heart-wrought reminder of the deeper reason you are a salesperson. The problem is that most salespeople get ahead of themselves. Most spend the better part of their early days trying to figure out the “Hows” of their jobs. How can I sell more? How can I make more money? How will I meet my quota? How can I motivate my team to produce more?
They’re all questions that have their place. But answering them is not the foundation of a successful sales career. It’s not enough to know how to be a good sales professional. That’s just head knowledge. To become a successful, trustworthy salesperson you must first have heart knowledge. You must know why you want to be a salesperson. You must make sure that answer is clearly written on your heart. And I guarantee that once you make this determination, you’ll find that the "Hows" of successful origination become much clearer and easier to apply – in fact, your daily actions simply become the manifestation of what’s on your heart. And that’s how successful selling should be.