Winning Characteristics of Champions

Do you have the winning characteristics of a champion? Do you feel you are capable of being on top?
I have had a rather unique opportunity in the kitchen and bath industry to observe and converse with a lot of champions. These are the people who have maximized their opportunities. They are also humble with their success.

When I teach sales skills, one of the things I ask attendees to do is list what they believe are the characteristics of a successful salesperson. I ask them about their last major purchase, and what qualities the salespeople displayed that enabled them to put their trust in those sellers. Many of the answers are obvious: friendly, knowledgeable, follows-through, honest, professional, organized, a good listener, a problem solver, cared about my circumstances.

But, there are other types of characteristics that I see in the winners I encounter. Winners are people who are at peace with themselves and, in fact, like themselves. This has less to do with their net worth than their self worth. It is less about the car they drive and more about their focus and endless energy driving toward a goal.

Winning traits
I've created a list that features eight characteristics that I believe are important elements to being a winner. While this list includes characteristics that are more personal than business, they can relate directly to your business success.

1. Winners have solved their relationship with deity. I have met winners from all kinds of religious beliefs, and I've found that it's not as much about what is perceived as right or wrong, but more about one's depth of belief and commitment. When this relationship is in place, it provides a firm platform to focus on the job at hand.

2. Winners strive to stay healthy. The people I know who are enjoying selling success understand good health. They protect their own health by being proactive, exercising and watching what they eat.

3. Winners keep on learning. It's always interesting to me to see the light in the eyes of a person who is excited about learning. I believe when you stop learning, you start dying. There are a lot of people who figuratively speaking are dying because they have chosen not to learn. They're not bad people; they have just shortchanged their potential. And, by not learning, they then shortchange their employer. I find it interesting and disappointing that not many people invest their time and money to improve their vocational skills. Most people expect the learning experience to be given to them by their employer. It's very sad when people create their limits by not continuing their education, and by not having an appetite to learn.

4. Winners enjoy music! Next to a smile, I believe music is the most common language. Sing it, play it, have it around you not only to release stress, but to give you fulfillment through its beat and lyrics. I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to feel good, and I believe music can do just that for you.

5. Winners balance their time. We are all gifted with 24 hours per day. That's 86,400 seconds per day to do with as we choose. I find it interesting that winners make time for all that is important and still have time to do extras. Losers or rather those hopelessly wallowing in mediocrity never have time for the necessary and, as far as extra time, forget it. They don't even have time for themselves, let alone others. "I don't have time" is often their crutch and their lack of success. The good news isthis doesn't have to be you.

6. Winners have hobbies. Winners choose interests outside of work, and this involvement enriches their lives, create relaxation and adds social opportunities. A hobby is a "want to," not a "have to." And, a hobby should be done at any level desired. Hobbies are mentally and/or physically testing and fulfilling. It is important to note that, with a hobby, it is not how good you are at it but what good you get out from it. When I am asked about my golf skills, I reply with the fact I am not embarrassed about my golf skills. Although I don't play golf often, I do find golf challenging, relaxing and social, and it provides me with physical activity. And, it is played where someone else is responsible for mowing the grass! Enrich your life with hobbies.

7. Winners have a sense of humor. I believe humor is an automatic by-product of a positive attitude. Winners can handle the serious side of life yet still be able to laugh and share their enjoyment with others. I know I catch myself doing some interesting or should I say stupid things, and many of these activities deserve a good laugh. I have also found that humor shared with others is not only fun, it's emotionally exciting and uplifting. Winners laugh at themselves and they laugh with others and, in doing so, they never have a reason to laugh at others.

8. Winners give of themselves to others without the expectancy of something in return. I know that, on the surface, this doesn't sound like a very good business attitude. But this may be the most important trait of all in winners, including winning kitchen and bath salespeople. Salespeople whose total focus is self-fulfilling generally become losers. The winners I see at the top are contributing to their clients, their employers and their peers, and they stand out from their competitors because of their caring and giving ways. These winners make a difference and earn the sale. While I'm not in a position to give a guarantee of success, if you guide both your personal and business life with this attribute in mind, your probability of success increases dramatically.

Measuring Up
Where do these eight characteristics of successful people fit with the title of the column "Closing the Sale?" I believe it is an exact fit.

The next time you are around a winner, add up how that person would measure up against these characteristics. I expect all eight will be met at a substantial level.

The most important thing you can do for your future success is to evaluate yourself against these eight characteristics and rate yourself. While I believe you will be pleased, I'm sure you will also find reasons to re-energize your vocational and life skills.'