The most successful salespeople don’t follow guidelines strictly by the book; you must be able to think “outside the box” and be innovative in your techniques.

Top producers constantly seek unique ways to run their business. It may involve implementing new operational or marketing techniques to set them apart from the competition. Offering discounted pricing, developing a professional athlete niche and introducing a special $1 million giveaway promotion were a few of the different approaches we took to generate recognition of Gold Star. When Gold Star held a company-wide managers? meeting, we decided to host a giant tailgate party at a University of Michigan football game. This was more than a welcome gathering for our employees; we wanted to reach a larger audiencemany of the 115,000 spectators who were at the newly remodeled stadium that day. We had a giant Gold Star banner and posters made, showcasing our 800-201-LOAN number and our reputation as one of the area?s best places to work. We knew that a huge audience of potential customers and employees would see the display. It was well worth our time and investment, as we substantially increased our visibility and had a great time doing so.

Thinking outside the box doesn’t necessarily require an excessive budget. When I started as a salesman, I developed an emerging market (immigrant) niche that no one else was exploring at the time. Find your own niche. Research the demographics of your area. Look at the trends of where the population has been and how experts believe it will evolve. If you see that the 65+ population is on the rise, offer programs appealing to that group.

I also placed an emphasis on providing Realtors with referrals before ever asking them for leads, another seemingly basic strategy that my competitors had not adopted. You can start your own celebrity niche on a local scale, by doing business with radio and television station personalities and other well-known people.

Overall, you need to take a more creative approach to your usual routine. Evaluate what you have done in the past and what the competition is doing, then make sure you continually test a few new strategies. If you do this, you are on track to become a successful salesperson.

Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.