I belong to a workout group called Battle Ready. Basically, it’s everything you want to know about working out, weight management, etc. It’s run by Erin Alejandrino. We have a couple of group calls every week, and a recent one: ‘Why Your Results Suck’, tied into sales. The first five reasons for bad results in workouts, weight goals, and overall health, were also the same reasons that most salespeople’s sales results are bad.
Here are the five:
I’ve said it many times, the number one reason salespeople fail is that they don’t make enough calls to talk to enough people to get enough qualified leads to make enough sales. You have to know your annual, monthly, and weekly goals along with the daily activity that it takes to reach those goals, and then you have to get that daily activity done, no matter what. Ultimately how many calls, follow-up calls, e-mails, etc., do you need to make daily to hit your goals? Know those numbers and follow The Rule of More, which means you make more calls than you need to in order to hit your goals. The bottom line is that you simply have to perform the necessary amount of the right activities during the day to hit your sales goals.
There are three levels of accountability: self, manager, and others. Others include friends, family members, coaches, and anyone else who can hold you accountable. First, you must be able to hold yourself accountable. You are the only person who’s with you 24/7. You know whether or not you’re cutting corners or not getting the work done. The most successful salespeople are able to push themselves harder than anyone else. That said, you also need people outside of you who can give you the unvarnished truth, who can objectively see things that you can’t see, and who know more than you in one or more areas so they can guide, educate, and help you. The bottom line: you and others need to hold yourself accountable for getting the work done.
Distractions can run the gambit including social media, television, calls from friends during work hours, computer games, or even chasing a fly around the office for ten minutes. Distractions are anything that pulls you away from doing your most important sales activities. Make a list of the things that distract you during the day and set rules around them. It’s fine to take occasional breaks and do non-work or fun things, just make sure you don’t take too many breaks and also make sure that a few minutes don’t turn into an hour.
A more subtle distraction can be looking for the magic bullet, the shortcut, or the ‘easier way’, versus doing what works. An example is substituting an e-mail for a phone call or in-person visit, especially on the initial call to a prospect. Another example is hanging out on social media all day versus, again, picking up the phone or meeting in person. Don’t get distracted by the easier, more-comfortable way. It’s one thing to work smart, it’s another to avoid the fear and discomfort of calling people on the phone or in person.
Vices are similar to distractions but they are habitual and more pervasive. By the way, these usually start out as distractions and then over time build into vices. The first time someone smokes a cigarette or drinks, rarely are they hooked but, as they continue to do them, they become hooked. These can lead to being out too late and drinking too much on a work night or drinking too much at company or customer events or parties. Smoking a cigarette or chewing tobacco to relax might be fine once in a while, but over time these tend to increase in frequency and lead to dependency. Other vices such as porn, overeating, and binge-watching tv will also negatively affect your energy, health, effectiveness, and even your confidence.
Excuses such as our prices are too high, there’s too much competition, my territory isn’t good, that won’t work here or in our industry, are usually just that: excuses. Whatever excuse you have, there’s someone who has had it worse and overcame it. In fact, with roughly 7.3 billion people on the planet, there are probably a lot of people who have had it worse and overcome it. It’s simple, if you see roadblocks and excuses, those will be your reality. If you see reasons and solutions, those will be your reality. You see what you believe and you find what you look for. Whatever excuses you have, you want to question and eliminate them. If you believe your prices are too high, there’s too much competition, or it’s a bad market, those will show up as objections and negatively impact your selling. There may be some truth to these but you can’t let them completely derail your sales efforts. There are always pluses and minuses in every company and with every product, territory, or anything else in life. You need to be able to build on the positives and strengths and find a way to minimize or eliminate the negatives or weaknesses.
#1 Sales Rep w 34+ years’ experience, Author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia (Axiom Book Awards) – also the largest sales book on the planet (678 pages).
John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker, coach, and trainer. For his free eBook: 30 Ideas to Double Sales and monthly article, or to have him speak at your next event, go to www.completeselling.com. John has over 34 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year, Sales Encyclopedia (Axiom Book Awards). You can reprint provided you keep contact information in place.