Learn from Your Success: Focus On Strengths Rather Than Weaknesses

Mortgage and Lending with Infinity Financial Group

Our culture teaches us to focus on our weaknesses and then improve upon them. While practice is critical to improvement in some areas, author Benson Smith of the Gallup Organization believes it is more important to focus on your strengths. By turning your strengths into super-strengths, your valuable time can be spent in areas where you feel more comfortable.

Over the course of 40 years, the Gallup Organization studied 250,000 sales representatives and 25,000 managers. The results were published in the best-selling book, Discover Your Sales Strengths: How the World's Greatest Sales People Develop Winning Careers.*

According to Smith, "You do learn from your failures, but you learn an awful lot more from your successes." For the same reason, we use the phrase, "Keep your eye on the ball," rather than "Keep your eye on the strike zone." By focusing your attention on the ball, you greatly improve your chances of hitting it.

The bottom line is there are more ways to do something wrong than solutions to do it right. When success is achieved, the sales person must recognize the techniques that brought out his/her best qualities and use them as a foundation for a business model.

Consider some of these questions as you plan new sales strategies:

•·          Am I more comfortable in front of a group, or am I better one-on-one?

•·          Am I a better communicator verbally or in writing?  

•·          Am I a better communicator on the phone or in person?  

•·          Which makes me feel more pressured: prospects who just saw an ad and responded to it, or referrals who expect more?

•·          Are my presentations well-received when I work as part of a team, or do I get a better response from my audience when I'm presenting alone?

There are infinite ways to highlight your strengths once you stop focusing on your weaknesses. By defining your sales strengths and gearing your marketing efforts toward those assets, you can build a dynamic business model. Always begin with this objective in mind: Building a turnkey system for success!


Comments (8)

Luke Constantino
Brooklyn/Manhattan Real Estate - Brooklyn, NY
Residential/Commercial Real Estate Brooklyn NY
I'm a strong believer in doing things that make you scared or uncomfortable. If you do you soon find out how stupid you were not to try them in the first place.
Apr 30, 2007 10:58 PM
Christopher Benedict
BIG Realty - Collegeville, PA
It took me years to learn this...I had to shake off everything I had been taught by sales gurus of the 90's who taught you to focus on your weaknesses to improve them.  Then I read "The Power of Focus" and it changed my whole perspective!
Apr 30, 2007 11:00 PM
John Caylor
Infinity Financial Group - Post Falls, ID
Post Falls, ID Mortgages


I read this great quote by Robert Allen that I continue to read every morning.

"Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone."

We can't be afraid to step outside the box!!

Apr 30, 2007 11:08 PM
John Caylor
Infinity Financial Group - Post Falls, ID
Post Falls, ID Mortgages


Was that a good book? I've read The Success Principles but I haven't read that one yet.

Apr 30, 2007 11:11 PM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

What "culture" teaches to focus on weaknesses???

Not mine.  The theory of "positive reinforcement" for skill building is based on building on success. 


Apr 30, 2007 11:15 PM
Leon Austin
Mobile Notary Services - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Mobile Notary

"The bottom line is there are more ways to do something wrong than solutions to do it right."

To some extent I agree that you should focus on your strengths and aptitude, and do what you do best. It would be folly for Shaquille O'Neil to ever try to become a race horse jockey.

But a weakness is not the same as aptitude. It's just that: a weakness. I see it as something that is keeping one from being the best they can be.  And using Mr. O'neil as an example, one of his weaknesses is his free throw shooting. Not his slam dunk. So what does he need to focus on?

If one of your weaknesses is the ability to stand in front of a group and give a presentation, and it's something you need to be able to do in order to succeed, then it's something you have to work on. You need to turn that into one of your strengths. It's a never-ending process.


Apr 30, 2007 11:20 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552


I like your philosophy!  Instead of constantly second-guessing our weaknesses, we should build on our strengths,  and as we gain success, delegate the rest.

May 01, 2007 12:00 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Focusing on your strengths is the logical approach. If you play golf you know it. If you are playing logically you use the club that leaves you with your next best shot. I guess the question centers around logic and comfort. I can function outside of my comfort zone but.... Nice post, thanks.

May 01, 2007 12:21 AM