News & Research Archive

Top Salespeople Get Help

Oct 09, 2006

Six years ago I hired a coach to improve the way I do business. It was one of the most important and successful moves I have made in more than 20 years in sales. The coach broke down some personal barriers that prevented me from looking beyond my production goals and addressed how I could achieve success at an entirely different level of performance.

Top salespeople need to seek help. This is not an easy task for a number of reasons. First, salespeople have egos: They usually believe that they can do their business all by themselves. Second, salespeople typically find it difficult to accept advice from others. Third, salespeople are typically not very organized or detailed—they are good multi-taskers and known for having quick responses to issues that lead to success. Finally, salespeople hate to spend money on their business—particularly commission-only salespeople who provide services, such as real estate brokers. Salespeople use many different excuses to scare themselves away from spending money ahead of received earnings, including the lack of guaranteed income.

My coach taught me that to truly be successful, one must break away from the barriers that prevent the achievement of greatness. He immediately discerned that I spend more time adminstrating deals than selling, negotiating, and closing deals. He broke down my annual income into an hourly wage. Then he subtracted my administrative time to figure out what my hourly wage would look like if I switched my administrative hours to sales hours. I discovered that if I could eliminate my administrative hours, I could more than double my income.

We figured out what it would cost me to hire an administrative assistant—less than 20% of my hourly sales production. Then we looked at what my sales production would be if I had a marketing person to make sales calls, send out marketing pieces, and stay in touch with existing clients. We figured that could possibly increase my business by 25%, while costing me 25% of my hourly sales production.

If I implemented his suggestions, I could potentially double my sales production by eliminating my administration time and hiring a marketing assistant. Based on my then-current income, these two moves would cost me about 25%, against the total amount of new business gained.

Was this a gamble? Yes, but the dividends I received were almost immediate. I got to do more of what I like to do and am best at—selling. In turn, I was a more effective and happier salesperson.

Few salespeople will take this leap of faith and agree to spend money to get to the next level of business—but those who do are usually happy with the results. Top salespeople understand that to succeed at the highest level, they can’t do it by themselves.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 21 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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