If you’ve noticed that the same salesperson is always at the top, it’s because that’s probably true. In fact, a study done by Harvard University found that 4% of sales reps make 94% of the sales in the United States. Are they just born sellers, or do they know something that you don’t? What are these reps doing that makes them able to generate this level of sales while the rest of us are picking through their scraps? The truth is that they are simply beating us to the punch. They are finding the customers before anyone else knows they exist and helping them shape their buying decisions from the earliest stages of the buying process.

When it all comes down to it, it’s not nature vs. nurture. Superstar salespeople work smarter and harder than everyone else. Their pre-call research includes using a CRM to nurture prospects that aren’t ready to buy yet. By identifying and nurturing future buyers,  top sales reps always have warm calls to close instead of searching endlessly for those cold call needle in a haystack closes. They close accounts every single day by working within structured systems that can include automated response software, social-networking  platforms, traditional sales calls and state of the art big data prospecting.

These superstars divide their days up into sections and keep themselves focused. They don’t take long lunches, don’t end the day early, don’t ignore soft leads and absolutely never put anything out on the internet that they might someday regret. What they do, and do well, is make every person they come in contact with feel like they are the star of the show. They make every conversation about the client and what the client thinks and feels. They don’t filter every conversation back to a sales pitch. They develop a relationship with their clients long before they ever broach the subject of a sale.

What can you learn from these salespeople? That the difference between you and them is the knowledge of where to find prospects, and taking ten seconds here or a few minutes there to make your clients feel like they are the most important people in your day. Instead of seeing the prospecting process as part of the everyday dredge, see it as the opportunity to remove cold calling from your to do list. Take the extra moment to ask how a prospect’s day is going, make a personal connection.

The one other thing that can help you jump up into the top 4% is having a highly visible social profile. More than 9 out of every 10 B2B sales are now initiated by the buyer. These buyers are out on the net looking for the salesman with the product they need. If you can find them before they have locked in a product choice, you have a great chance of influencing the final buying decision.