Steve Ferrante's High Performance Blog for Sales/Customer Service/Leadership Champs and Progressive Professionals!

Posts tagged ‘professional development training’

Persistence & Determination To Succeed

Last week Oracle’s Team USA accomplished the greatest comeback in America’s Cup history and one of the most dramatic in any sport. Trailing 8-1 to the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand, and within one defeat of losing the Cup, Oracle pushed on and proceeded to win an unprecedented eight straight races to defend the trophy.


After completing their amazing victory, the managing director of Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton said, “They just got better and better”.

While USA’s skipper and crew certainly deserve recognition and high praise for making the on-the-fly boat configuration adjustments that reduced the drag and created the increased speed required to pull ahead, none of this would have been possible without their persistence and determination to succeed.

Down 8-1, it certainly would have been easier to concede defeat and forfeit the title. Fortunately, as is so often the case with true champions, they did not give in but rather relentlessly pursued their goal despite the seemingly overwhelming odds against them.

This lesson applies perfectly to Pinnacle Performance. As Calvin Coolidge said in his famous quote, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence”.


Onward & Upward!

Steve 🙂

Monday Morning Motivation: Hilton On Success

Conrad Hilton built a hotel empire and a became a legendary tycoon by focusing on positive action and always moving forward despite setbacks.

Monday morning is the perfect time to think about your actions..

What will you do today to put yourself on pace for a successful week?

How will you move forward and be better this week than last?


Make a great day!

Steve 🙂

P.S. Conrad Hilton’s book, Be My Guest, is still kind of a Bible for the hotel/hospitality industry.

P.S. The book, “Be My Guest,” written by Conrad Hilton, is still kind of Bible for all hotels. – See more at:
P.S. The book, “Be My Guest,” written by Conrad Hilton, is still kind of Bible for all hotels. – See more at:
P.S. The book, “Be My Guest,” written by Conrad Hilton, is still kind of Bible for all hotels. – See more at:

Monday Morning Motivation: Branson On Success

Sir Richard Branson is a brilliant entrepreneur and true Pinnacle Performer.

Branson’s first business venture was The Student Magazine that he launched at the age of 16. In 1970, he established a mail-order record business by way of advertising in his magazine. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later transforming into Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand experienced tremendous growth during the 1980s, as he formed Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded his Virgin Records music label.

Today, Branson is one of the richest citizens on the planet, with a net worth in excess of $4 billion.

With all he has accomplished, there is plenty aspiring Pinnacle Performers can learn about success from Sir Richard. Much of that is summed up nicely on the graphic below.

Use these success principles as a guide to greater performance…

Branson On Success

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

The Truth About “Born Salesman”

Born Salesman

No doubt you’ve heard someone referred to as “a born salesman” but is this old adage true?

Having spent 25+ years in the sales industry in every role from rep to manager to trainer of reps and managers, and having observed a countless number and wide variety of salespeople over that time, I am uniquely qualified to answer that question with a tried and true “yes and no”.

How many born doctor, born attorney or born scientists do you know? Likely not many. With many years of teaching and training to achieve those occupation designations it would surely be improper referring to those (or any other honorable profession) that way.

Put in an athletic perspective, you are not “born” to be a great basketball player, a great golfer, a great tennis player, etc. It is true, however, that many great athletes are indeed born with good genes and innate physical characteristics that, when properly developed and applied, result in great achievement.

So while many “born salesman” have natural attributes like “outgoing, articulate, optimistic, assertive, nurturing” that lend themselves well to success in the sales profession, top ‘Pinnacle Performers’ combine this with a set of skills learned over time, and reinforced through continuous practice and disciplined application.

For companies that are hiring new salespeople, that means ideally you would want to start with an individual that has that strong foundation of natural attributes and then build a top performer through a consistent skills development program.

As I cover in my Strong Selling In A Weak Economy presentations, this is especially important in a down or ultra-competitive market. Why? Because many of those alleged “born salesman” (and saleswoman) fail under those circumstances. Often these folks have those natural ‘gift of gab’ attributes to talk the talk but come up short in the training and development required to walk the walk and perform in those tougher selling environments.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” That applies to success in sales and any other profession. Top performers don’t rely on fate/destiny, they decide and commit to being a student of their profession and work to master their craft over time.

The fact is, top performing sales people are not born. However, they can be made by combining natural talents with proper training and development.

The Only Person

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Steve Ferrante is the CEO & Trainer of Champions of Sale Away LLC., providing Pinnacle Performance Sales, Customer Service and Winning Team Culture training, speaking and professional development services to success-driven businesses throughout North America. For more information on Steve and Pinnacle Performance services for your team visit Sale Away

Monday Morning Motivation: Success Track

Back in our school days (or school daze for some) there were specific academic achievements that needed to be accomplished to graduate from one grade to the next, from grade school to high-school, high-school to college and so forth. The track was all laid out and it was clear (to the non-dazed folks at least) what needed to be accomplished to move forward and succeed.

At some point, we entered the working world and all that changed. We had multiple tracks to choose from and the path to success became considerably more fuzzy.

Some people chose a less than desirable track. These folks can be found complaining about their job most days. Other folks were headed in the right direction but then, for various reasons, got side-tracked.  Both folks will find that if they continue heading in the wrong direction they’ll ultimately end up in the wrong place.

What you do today shapes your tomorrows. Where you end up then depends on what track you’re on now.

This principle applies to not only your long-term goals but also your short-term objectives. In sales, what you achieve in a given month will determine if you’re on track to meet your goal for the quarter. A successful quarter will put you on the right track for a successful year.

And, of course, a successful Monday will put you on track for a successful week!

Success Track

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Monday Morning Motivation: Go To Success

Here’s a simple, yet powerful, Monday Morning Motivation.

Quite often success comes to those who are proactive. Those Pinnacle Performers constantly seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow, develop new business, create new customer relationships and control their destiny.

The reactive types are waiting to be in the right place at the right time, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for opportunity to knock, waiting for success to happen.

Don’t let that be you. Get up, get on your horse and as I often say…

Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Go to Success

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Training & Performance: If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It!

If You Don't Measure

How do we measure training? It’s a question I hear frequently from my prospective Pinnacle Performance clients. By that they mean, “we’ve budgeted X amount of dollars for sales and/or customer service training, how do we measure our results and ensure we receive a worthwhile return on our investment?”

That is a great question, one I would no doubt ask if it were I in their position.

An obvious answer is to track and record sales results, close rates, customer appointments and other key performance metrics prior to training and then compare them to the results after training. While that is certainly recommended and should be charted throughout the course of any training implementation, this method does little to let you know how you stand in real time.

The best way to measure the effectiveness of training and employee’s sales performance is to monitor activity at the point-of-sale.

There are two point-of-sale areas that business owners should be monitoring on a day-to-day basis; face-to-face and telephone interactions.

For an objective look at employee performance in face-to-face interactions, I highly recommend contracting the services of a professional mystery shopping company.  A high-caliber mystery shop company will use well-trained “secret shoppers” to provide you with an accurate picture of the customers perspective while conducting business with your company. Over my 10 years in the training industry, I have had experience with both very good and a few not-so-good mystery shop companies. If you’re looking for a recommendation, email me with your company website and contact info at and I’ll provide my best choice for your consideration.

Then there’s the phone. As detailed in my Top 3 Reasons Why Phone Skills Training Is Most Important In Sales article, for business’s that sell both face-to-face and on-the-phone, phone skills is the most important area of employee development.

The best way to manage employee performance on the phone is to record and evaluate actual customer calls. While call-in mystery shops can be useful to establish a baseline and determine if employees are performing their selling fundamentals, these scripted interactions simply don’t have the spontaneity and challenge employees the way genuine customer calls do.

I am quite familiar with the companies that provide call recording services and have found none better than my resource partners at Convirza (formerly LogMyCalls). For ease of operation, recording and tracking capabilities, scorecard administration and reporting analytics their program is simply top notch and my recommendation for all my Pinnacle Performance clients.


It’s important to note that many companies are already recording their customer calls. If so, you’re only halfway there. The other half – the more important half – is monitoring and evaluating those calls on how well employees are meeting, or not meeting, the established selling system.

In the case of my clients,  industry-specific scorecards are created to evaluate and measure every element of the Pinnacle Performance sales/customer service model as tailored for the business. Armed with the evaluation data, we can then pinpoint precisely where an employee is weak or missing key elements and provide the coaching to improve sales/customer service performance in real time!

As renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” That is certainly true of sales/customer service training and there’s no better way than evaluating employees real-time performance at the point-of-sale.


Make a Great Day!

Steve 🙂

Steve Ferrante is the CEO & Trainer of Champions of Sale Away LLC., providing Pinnacle Performance Sales, Customer Service and Leadership training, speaking and professional development services to success-driven businesses throughout North America. For more information on Steve and Pinnacle Performance services for your team visit

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