My stepdaughter recently called and asked me if I wanted to meet up in San Francisco for a quick weekend of exploring. Although she is actually my ex-stepdaughter now, she has always felt like my daughter, and I am thrilled that we have continued to nurture a loving relationship. Naturally I jumped on the opportunity.
Having traveled to San Francisco over the years, I had a clear idea what a fun and memorable getaway could look like. First on the list would be renting bikes and peddling across the Golden Gate Bridge, into Sausalito and on to Tiburon before ferrying back to Pier 39.
All was good until we had to get back on our bikes after enjoying a delicious lunch and glass of wine, overlooking the bay from Scoma’s in Sausalito.
“Seriously, this is child abuse,” my stepdaughter said.
Admittedly, I was a bit sore myself.
The whining from both of us continued until we hit the winding road into Tiburon. It’s amazing how seeing the culmination of your efforts can make pain subside. We laughed about it on the ferry ride back to San Francisco, bikes nearby and the sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge. The view alone was worth the climb.
The same holds true in sales. If you have never experienced the grit and commitment of building a successful territory, then you more than likely haven’t built a successful territory. Sure, you may have taken over a successful territory or market, but when the going gets tough, how will you manage?
How often have you thought about the time commitments you have made, the hours of working through a tough project, learning something new, struggling with a new technology, or taking on unforeseen markets or accounts, only to realize your success would not have happened without pushing the limits? Sure, some success lands on our laps, but not often.
Success in sales takes time and commitment. It takes incredible and time-intensive on-boarding and learning to develop the knowledge and confidence to communicate effectively, and thus create a successful territory. In addition, whether you are taking over a territory or starting a new one, ongoing learning and development must be a part of your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals. Are they?
I’ve written about this in the past, and still notice that many people are not cut out to be top-in-class in any profession, let alone sales.
I’ve heard on more than one occasion from a respective territory sales professional that “their” market was just not healthy, that no more growth was available, it’s different here, I am maxed out, too much competition, this market focuses only on price, etc. But when these sales professionals were replaced (either on their own or through a bit of prompting), sales often grew. And continued to grow.
Why is it that despite market conditions some sales professionals continue to soar? Simple. They commit to personal improvement — consistently — and they do the hard work others choose to skip completely, complain about or engage in half-heartedly.
OK, so I have been called a bit assertive in my approach. I have high expectations and a take-no-prisoners mindset. I believe this stems from asking the tough questions and facing the real reasons WHY one doesn’t hit the mark. If that puts me in the over-the-top category, bring it on!
I too have struggled to balance my personal life with my business life. I get it. It’s not easy. In fact, I believe achieving successful personal and business balance comes from the same commitment and focus one needs to be successful in work OR in one’s personal life.
Are YOU asking yourself the tough questions as to why you are missing the mark? Is it lack of commitment, training, self-evaluating to a Defined Sales Process or desire? Of course there are ebbs and flows in all of these areas. One cannot be at full tilt 24/7/365. It does require the ability to see through the chaos and into the calm. Realizing that the view is worth the climb can provide that little push needed to dig deeper to realize the benefits of your efforts. The choice is yours.
MENTOR January 2017;8(1):8-9.