Keep Climbing

Success From The Outside In

The more excited we are, the more we apply the things we learn and the better we become at them. The better we are, the greater the service we can provide our customers (which is our fundamental goal). Here are three ways to keep that process growing:

1. Keep others' interests at heart. This is the best way to earn a customer's business. The dictionary defines "earn" as "to get or deserve as a result of something one has done." So, you earn a customer's respect (and make a sale) when he sees you making the effort to learn his business and solve his problems. Selling is always about creating win-win situations. It doesn't matter to a customer how excited you are about a new product or project unless your customer knows what it means to him or her. The situation has to be exciting for the customer.

2. Increase your depth of knowledge. Learn as much as you possibly can about the customer's business and goals. How can your product, and the knowledge you have about that product, help your customer's business grow? Your depth of knowledge brings you greater credibility, as well as the ability to come up with the best possible ideas for your customers.

3. Create appropriate solutions. A solution doesn't have to be an amazing event that's going to turn your customer's company around. It could be a small thing that makes someone's job easier-like how your product can help decrease his or her work load. We'd all like to come up with a "big" solution, but often the little ones are more impressive. They're solid and consistent, and those are the things that keep customers coming back. Over the years, I've worked with highly successful people from sports, science, business, education and entertainment. A common sentiment I've heard from all of them is that at the end of their careers, they'd want to look back and ask "How much did I learn, and how much did I serve others?"

Constant learning and constant action-both are equal, and both are necessary. We learn from our actions, and we act from our learning. One without the other suffers. Together they provide invincible truth.

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Barry Farber is the author of 11 books on sales, management and peak performance. His latest release, "Diamond in the Rough" CD program, is based on his book, radio and television show. Visit him at, or email him at

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Keep Climbing.

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