5 Ways to Protect Yourself from Early Extinction

One out of every 3 salespeople I work with (or don’t work with) are on the verge of extinction and they don’t even realize it! What do I mean by extinction? Easy…they’re less than 90 days away from going to their sales manager and saying something like…

“Hey, this business is not for me,” or…

“I’m not cut out for this,” or…

“This business is just too tough, and I’m out of money.”

How do I know this?

Well…amongst endless empirical knowledge and stats I could quote, I’ve been doing this thing for over three decades—leading and managing commission salespeople. This trend hasn’t changed in 37 years.


It was this way when I sold cars at age 17. It was this way when I started training people to sell accident insurance policies at age 19. It was this way when I built a large network marketing downline at age 26. It was this way when I built a successful multi-million dollar regional sales office from scratch at age 34. It was this way when I built a $100,000,000 block of in force business by age 48. Now I’m 54, a retired multi-millionaire, venture capitalist, nationally recognized expert on commission sales, and a successful author and speaker…and guess what…

It’s still this way.

Roughly 1 out of every 3 commission salespeople (or hopeful network marketing IBOs) are less than 90 days away from walking away with their tail between their legs.

Crashing and burning.


Bye, bye now.

Okay, so if you are sitting in your sales office right now, reading this blog article alongside of your new fellow sales friends, look to the left, and then to your right. If those two are consistently making appointments—filling up their calendars and creating production—then you better start gathering up the stuff in your cubicle.

Almost a THIRD of the commission sales people surrounding you are in the slow and painful process of quitting. Worse, their exit will occur within 90 days. Commission sales seemed like a good idea when they originally interviewed, but it kind of doesn’t now. There was never a full commitment on their part…and so many other factors that we don’t have time to spell out in this article.

There is another THIRD. They are kind of in the middle. This group is making progress. They are showing up and going to work. They are scheduling presentations. They are having small wins. They are going to hang in there for a while, and some are going to do really well eventually.

If you’re tracking with me you realize that there’s one last grouping to be identified in our little pie chart. This final THIRD is made up of those that are obviously making it. They are doing all the right things. They are being talked about in the meetings. You see their names in the emails and they are receiving recognition at your organizational award events.

They are thriving!

Of course, nothing is as exact as I make it sound. Each of these little pie chart samples isn’t going to work out to be a neat little 33.3%. It’s messier than that. Based on what you sell, whom you sell it to, and whom you sell it for, the percentages can be skewed, but you get my point. There’s one sector of the pie that you definitely DON’T want to be in, one that you’d prefer not to be in, and one slice that you’d very much desire to be in.

I do a lot of personal and group sales coaching and training—4 or 5 days a week. I speak all over the country to some really great and enlightened organizations. I’m always talking with—comparing notes with—my colleagues, most of them smarter and more talented than me. I read everything that pertains to the subject of commission sales and sales leadership. I’ve seen it all—have heard it all.

If a guy like me doesn’t understand what factors make up a successful sales career (and conversely, why people crash and burn) then…I don’t know who does!

So here goes…here are 5 foolproof ways to protect your sales career from EARLY EXTINCTION:

    1. Immediately identify one or two successful producers to MODEL

To be perfectly clear with this first bullet point, I’m not talking about someone you like, or somebody on the team you think is funny or someone that always invites you out to long lunches. Those aren’t necessarily the right people to model; in fact, they’re often the absolute WRONG people to emulate.

I am simply asking you to locate somebody in your hierarchy (or a peer) that is an outstanding producer—someone that is doing the EXACT work you need to do each day, and they’re doing it with a great attitude.

Oh, and one other thing…remove yourself from the company of anybody that is negative, lazy, apathetic, dishonest…you get my point. Just avoid those types of people, much like you would dodge an Ebola patient.

    1. Then…actually MODEL those successful people you selected

 Watch, learn and MIMIC what they do on a daily and weekly basis. Imitate their work habits and their calendar. Understand what makes them tick. Listen closely to what they say and how they say it. Ask them about their values, what’s essential to them and their work. Then…duplicate those things in your daily routine.

    1. READ for 15 minutes every morning and 30 minutes each night

That’s right…READ every morning as soon as you wake up. Put some positive and productive thoughts in your head. Find a book, perhaps one of the classics like Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, and treat the book like your sales Bible. Read and reflect on one chapter per morning. Find the meaning and think about its application in your daily work.

Heck, you can even read The CAP Equation by a guy named Joe Buzzello. Click Here: http://amzn.to/1b39pk4 You could certainly do worse than reading this book!

And don’t tell me that you don’t have the time to read in the morning. That’s just another BS excuse, the kind that losers (the bottom THIRD) use while they are rapidly becoming extinct. Just set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you need to wake up and then…


Also, read for 30 minutes at night. Get some good thoughts in your head before you go to sleep. Those good thoughts will incubate in your subconscious while you sleep and magical things will occur in your business and your life as a result of this simple practice.

Don’t ask me HOW or WHY this works. I don’t know and I don’t care!

You can also find dozens of great FREE blog articles and sales training resources on our site: http://www.thecapequation.com/category/blog/ and other sites we can recommend to you.

    1. Attach yourself to a MENTOR who has a VESTED interest in you

 For the love of God…you can’t do this alone! You have to have someone in your corner rooting for you.

Please, please, please, attach yourself to one mentor in your hierarchy or your upline—someone that has a vested interest in your success. If it isn’t your immediate report, then go up the chain of command. If you’re earnestly trying to find a primary coach and you can’t locate one inside of your organization, then you are in the wrong place. Go find another, better company or team.


    1. COMMIT to the work they ask you to do on FAITH for 90 – 120 days

That’s right, there’s WORK and FAITH involved in this equation. If you’ve located the top producers in your organization and are modeling their thoughts and actions, if you have removed yourself from negative influences, if you are reading 15 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night, and finally, you’ve attached yourself to a mentor who has a vested interest in you, then you only need to do one more thing to ensure that you don’t become EXTINCT in 90 days…

…you need to do the work they ask you to on faith…

…with your head down…

…not questioning anything…

…for at least 90 days…

If you practice the first 4 bullet points and then leave #5 out, well…good luck. Without doing the work on faith for a few months with your head down you won’t have a chance to prove the concept and see all of the numbers work themselves out in your favor. You will crash and burn—become extinct! On the other hand, if you do these 5 things it is nearly impossible for you to fail out of your sales organization!

Now, in the same breath, I can’t guarantee that if you do these 5 things you’ll be on stage getting awards, but you certainly will be in the game, making progress, having small wins and moving to a place of self-sufficiency. This game of sales is easier than we make it out to be.

Oh…and if you haven’t had a chance to read my book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, please click on the link below. It’s now available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CdFi2t

The CAP Equation© website offers free resources for commission salespeople and sales leaders. Please click on the link below for free instant access:


Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com

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