Welcome to where the magic happens. Every project, class, system and process I have ever implemented started with a blog post RIGHT HERE. So dig in, there is gold in these electrons.
How are you ensuring continual growth and improvement for both you and your team?
Good performance can sometimes keep people from aggressively pursuing even higher levels of improvement and contribution to their companies, their customers, and even to themselves.
Good becomes the habit. Great becomes unnecessary. Or in other words, ‘Good becomes the NATURAL enemy of Great’ as Jim Collins says in his landmark 2001 book named aptly “Good to Great”
This is the problem, but why does it happen?
We all want to be good in sales; this is also my concern. We form habits that will keep us merely good. We have to push past what we are currently doing if we want to reach the GREAT. The question is HOW and for some of us WHY.
First the How
We must CONTINUALLY lead our sales team to stretch their talents both in sales production and sales education. Bottom-line is if you aren’t stretching you aren’t leading. The good news is the top 7% of reps will be salivating at a chance to grow their skills and will welcome this formal opportunity.
The “good” to “average” reps might need some encouragement. The only way to do that is to KNOW your team and what are they capable of. You must know what motivates them, what will make them jump through fire to achieve. Then give them the nudge they need to go past their comfort zone by developing goals and business skill development tasks that will nurture the qualities leading to their personal growth and future success.
Remember you need to be their leader not just their manager. Get out in front of this effort by setting your own stretch goals and business development tasks. Sales people and people in general abhor those who don’t “walk the talk”. There is nothing more common than a salesperson “outgrowing” their sales manager because he simply stopped developing as a professional and can no longer keep up with them.
The best part of this initiative is its natural byproduct, improving the bottom line. And seriously, unless we improve what we are doing and how we are doing it we will remain “effectively stuck in neutral” and I promise, somebody or everybody will catch up and we will start to lose business, market share and maybe our career.
Now let’s talk about the WHY
We all go into sales for different reasons. For some it’s the ability to be compensated based on our performance. Others like the autonomy and still others see it as a fast track to management and beyond. But the bottom line is we all want to make more money than a simple base salary and that can’t happen unless we improve daily what we are doing and how we are doing it. I also don’t believe for a minute anybody who is TRULY a salesperson wants to stay status quo. That’s why you see so many athletes in sales, the competition to be the best, to keep their edge, can be the “juice” as well!
You see it’s been my experience that across the board REAL, TRUE salespeople are exactly the same. They are the richest, have the most connections and are the best in their respective “sales circle”. Here’s the twist though, in my classes I teach this caveat, “Customers don’t buy features, they don’t buy what the features do; they buy what the features will give them”. Or as Charles Revlon famously said “In the factories we make cosmetics and in the stores we sell hope”. So I don’t believe it’s JUST the accumulation of MORE money, it’s what the money will provide us. New car, boat, house payments, tuition and the peace of mind that we can PAY for all those things comfortably, that’s what money gets us.
The bigger reason I think is this; REAL TRUE salespeople are ULTRA competitive, they want to be acknowledged as the BEST but what they also want, if for only once in their life, they want to be part of something GREAT. They want to know that if not for their efforts that GREATNESS would not have been achieved. They want to be a difference maker, a game changer; the person that pushes whatever their endeavor to new heights.
You see, GREATNESS stays with a person. It changes a person in every tangible and intangible way; how they talk, make decisions, heck, even live their life because they know they were an integral part of something GREAT. You’ll never go back to how things were before because now you know how things can be, and isn’t that what we all want?
That’s it for now and remember you can either make sales or make excuses but you can’t do both!