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Athletes will help sales team score

I get a ton of e-mails asking to solve sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and, most important, your sales thought process right now:

Jeffrey, I’m building a mortgage retail team in Nashville and surrounding counties. I started my career in Franklin, Tenn., around 1987. My niche has been hiring college and pro athletes at the end of their career and bringing them into mortgage lending. They have proven to be teachable, willing and competitive — and they never give up.

Here is my problem: I brought an NHL pro player into the industry and he is doing exactly what he needs to be doing, but big banks today do not have the ability to allow him to ramp up over 12 months. The strange thing about these athletes is that it takes longer for them to get going. Unless he quickly gets some loans, I will have to let him go. Do you have a solution to quick start his career? — Greg

Greg, in my experience, athletes make great salespeople. They’re fit. They want to compete. They’re coachable. They practice. They follow the rules. And once they learn how to play, they can become an all star. If you find yourself having to terminate this person because your bosses are either too cheap or too stupid to invest in him, please send his resume to me. I’ll gladly find him a job someplace where people will understand his capability and profit from his work ethic.

Here’s my suggestion to quick-start his career: Make the next five sales calls with him. Record his presentation sessions and play them back so he can learn what he’s doing right and what he’s doing wrong. Try to get him a few extra leads and create best responses for all the objections that he’s been facing. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I want to be in an industry where I can make a great career and provide well for my family. When starting a new career in sales, is selling automobiles a good place to start? — Forrest

Forrest, every salesperson wants to provide well for their family and have a great career. This will not come about working someplace where you feel you can make a lot of money. There is money to be made in any career. Your job is to select something that you believe you can love and identify with. This will not only help you succeed, but you’ll also be happier at home. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs sales meetings and conducts Internet training on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com.

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