This Single Sales Productivity Hack Is How I Made $5.7 Million in Personal Net Sales My First Year

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Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh is a social media and digital marketing expert, CMO of Dream Machine Foundation, and storyteller with a purpose. She grew Dream Machine to 8M followers and edited videos that raised $750K for charity, earning attention from Oprah, Steve Harvey, and Khloe Kardashian.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It was mid-2019, and I found myself at an uncertain crossroads in my career. After a long, fruitful stint as VP of Sales in the wireless industry, a merger tossed me out on my tail with no golden parachute, fallback plan or even a dinghy to navigate the shifty waters of the job market.

With the urgency hovering, I had to secure something quickly to replace my income. This led to securing one of the first few opportunities that presented itself — a commission-only solar sales position. Hearing the earning potential, I dove in headfirst.

Having no prior experience in solar, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit nervous. But one thing was certain: I’ve always thrived off of challenges and was ready for the elevation process to start over in a booming new industry.

For me, the elevation process is what has always fueled me, not the prize itself at the end of it. Where’s the fun in laying a dead gazelle in front of a lion? It’s the chase, the adrenaline of proving myself to me and exceeding my own expectations that keep me fired up and ascending to new levels (okay, sure, and maybe the necessity to succeed so my family didn’t end up homeless had a little bit to do with it as well.)

Nonetheless, I knew my previous sales experience equipped me with the skills and resourcefulness to win, but what I didn’t fully appreciate just yet was the impact of a single productivity hack that would become explosive for my results in a commission-only setting. This hack is what I attribute to bulldozing my way to the number one spot on the earnings leaderboard and obliterating company records for most earned, ever.

Related: There Is No Success Without Risk

The power of tenacity

Sales isn’t about tossing a product pitch and relying on luck for the customer to buy. Great salespeople, those who truly excel, understand that closing a sale requires a unique blend of tenacity, finesse and strategic thinking. However, being a great salesperson doesn’t automatically make you a great closer. You see, great closers are great salespeople, but great salespeople aren’t always great closers. Disruptive salespeople that close require a distinct mindset — the mindset of closing every single customer you interact with. Sounds unrealistic? Perhaps. But it is this very mindset that distinguishes the exceptional from the average.

Understandably, you won’t close every deal — that’s an unrealistic expectation. But the power of a “close every customer” mindset gives you the potential to drive your performance to incredible heights. This mindset can transform one or two extra sales a week that you otherwise thought were impossible into doubling your sales results for the month.

But the question remains — how do you cultivate this mindset? It comes down to having an unwavering belief in your abilities, and a relentless commitment to fighting for each sale as though it’s your last — no half-hearted attempts, no surrendering when obstacles arise. This isn’t about inflated self-confidence; it’s about resilience, tenacity, the unyielding will to succeed and the use of one simple hack.

Related: Why Tenacity Is More Important Than Brilliance for Entrepreneurial Success

The ultimate productivity hack for closers

This hack isn’t some underground, newly developed technology or a secret script that has been hidden from the public in the underground tombs of Egypt. No, it’s much more simplistic but even more powerful. It’s what I call “success amnesia.”

Success amnesia is the practice of mentally resetting after each victory. It’s about leaving past accomplishments behind and approaching each new opportunity as if you are under severe financial strain, regardless of the reality. It’s convincing yourself that you’re going into your next appointment as if you’re three months behind on rent and you can’t even afford a pint of milk for your two-year-old toddler — no matter if you’ve just earned a $20,000 commission on your previous appointment four hours ago.

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Success amnesia is an intentional forgetting of past wins, a deliberate reset that enables you to bring relentless determination to each new opportunity. It is this success amnesia that fuels your hunger to succeed, drives your tenacity, and compels you to disrupt the status quo in every interaction.

If you take away one thing from my story, let it be this: Success amnesia can single-handedly alter your sales DNA, fortifying its strands with resilience and a hunger for disruption. It was this single mindset shift that cleared the path for me to generate $5.7 million in personal sales in my first year in the solar industry, or $320,000 in commission, despite having no prior experience in the industry. With the right mindset, relentless determination and the powerful tool of success amnesia, you can easily catapult yourself to the forefront of your industry and instill this practice into your sales force.

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