I was asked the other day what it takes to become a top sales person. This person gave me the names of two salespeople in their company that they admired and asked, “What can I do to be like them?”

My response?

Be OBSESSIVELY curious.  

If you work the normal 8-5 shift doing sales calls, quotes, and putting out fires, but never spend time learning or growing, you will struggle to reach the top of the sales leaderboard. 

You might end up in the top quartile if you were born with the right genes and have a LOT of time to wait out the process and work 80 hours per week. 

But for most of us, we need to be OBSESSIVELY curious.

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This is why the most successful people are also the happiest. They LOVE what they do. And they spend countless hours learning and honing their craft.

What’s the tactical advice for this young gun? It’s going to be different for everyone. But here are some ideas:

  • Read one industry article every morning.
  • Read at least one book a month on sales or marketing (don’t worry, that’s only about 10 minutes per day if you’re a slow reader like me).
  • Start listening to industry or sales/marketing podcasts while you’re driving.
  • Find a YouTube channel where people do live negotiations/sales calls. Subscribe and watch as many as you can.
  • Start creating content. If you don’t feel like you’ve earned the right to CREATE content, then DOCUMENT your journey. Do book reviews or write articles on what you learned that week.

If you get that feeling in your stomach that there is no way you can fit all of this into your schedule, that might be a sign that you’re not in the right role. 

But if all of this excites you, then you’re probably on to something. 

When you become OBSESSIVELY curious and put in the time to be the student AND the teacher, good things will happen!


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Brad Telker
Vice President of Commercial Sales at cfm Distributors, Inc.

Brad joined the cfm team in 2006, and now as the Vice President of Commercial Sales, he focuses on business development, as well as helping contractors and engineers find creative and unique solutions to any size HVAC project. When he’s not at work, Brad enjoys photography, running and spending time with his family.


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