Your rating determines your success and your fate.

Your rating determines your success and your fate.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Your rating determines your success and your fate.

I just watched one of the best presenters in America. Joe Calloway.

His expertise is in personal branding. His upcoming book, “Becoming a Category of One” (John Wiley, August 2003), will delineate how you can differentiate yourself from others who do what you do. How to become positioned in your marketplace. And how to make your customers love you and need you. Cool, huh?

Joe’s talk started with four questions that startled me.
1. How good are you?
2. How good are you compared to your competition?
3. How good does the market think you are?
4. How good do your customers think you are?

I want to ask you a few “questions behind the questions” so you can see how powerful this information is.

How good are you? How would you rate yourself. OK, got a number between one and ten? Good. You probably think you’re somewhere between seven and 9.5 out of a possible ten. Now rate yourself INDIVIDUALLY (10 being the best) for each of these questions.

  • How do you rate your own ability to sell?

  • How well do you speak?

  • How well do you transfer your message?

  • How well do you bring new ideas to the customer?

  • How well do you close the deal?

  • How well do you follow-up?

  • How well do you differentiate yourself?

  • How well do you create relationships?

  • How well do you deliver value?

  • How well do you help your customer profit from the use of your product or service?

  • How well do you build your own self-development knowledge?

    Whew! Now add all those and divide by 11 and you’ll have better idea of where you really are as opposed top where you think you are.

    Let’s take it two steps deeper.

    How good are you compared to your competition? Eh, eh, eh. Before you write down a number answer this: How often do you win when you go up against them? Now rate yourself. Different rating? The competition isn’t just the enemy. They’re a report card.

    How good does the market think you are? What is their impression of you as a person. Do they even know you exist? What has your IMPACT been on your market? What is the big picture of you in your industry? How are you positioned? In sales it’s not who you know, in sales it’s who knows you. Before they can “think you’re good,” you have to have done something good. They have to know you. Now rate yourself.

    Painful so far? That’s nothing. Here’s the rub:How good do your customers think you are? Here is your true measurement. Here is your next sale. Here is your referral. Here is your reputation. Here is your success. Here is your fate. Here in a word is your “brand.” Your personal brand. Now rate yourself.

    INSIGHT: What is the reason for the gap between you and ten in each of the four questions? Figure that out and you will soar on every level.
    HINDSIGHT: Your history will tell you exactly where you are today and why. Self-discovery is the only way.
    FORESIGHT: Once you grasp the “gap,” grab your bootstraps and your hammer, and start building. Oh yeah, make a plan — even if you just scribble some notes on a flip chart (like I do), it will clarify your thoughts and solidify your actions.

    Your personal brand is the most important and valuable asset you have. Reason for poor, weak, or unknown brands among salespeople? Easy — “blaming” instead of “taking responsibility” for actions and outcomes. Yes Sparky, — that would be you!

    Salespeople have a million reasons and excuses “why it went wrong,” but very few answers as to how to pack the error with value and eliminate it in the future. That’s personal brand. And the answers have just been handed to you on a silver platter.

    Here’s the good news — if you decide to grab them and go for it, you’ll be in the VAST minority. The winning minority. The leading minority. The wealthy minority.

    Joe Calloway was a learning experience. Or should I say, a personal branding experience. Eye opening. Painful. Insightful. And right on the money. Your money. My money.

    Take a few moments out of your day and look at some personal brands. Start with mine. You know me, you read me. Take a stroll through — My brand is my money. Actually my wealth. Then ask yourself what you need to do to begin to build or strengthen your brand. Start small, but start.

    Wanna know the secret? Before you can build wealth — first build a wealth of knowledge.

    GitBit: Want some more of Joe Calloway’s wisdom? He’s making a few more branding secrets available — free. Just go to — register if you’re a first time user — and enter CALLOWAY in the GitBit box.

    Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to