I was asked recently during recruiting why people were not successful in their roles. I love that question because the answer is so simple. It comes down to three possible reasons: lack of understanding, lack of commitment or lack of capacity.
I’ve experienced the second two far more frequently than the first. A coach or manager can help if there is lack of clarity, training or understanding. But if you lack desire, are unwilling to take action or do not have the capacity to deliver, sales may not be for you. At least not the sales you are currently in.
This may sound harsh but it’s absolutely true. Personally, I like coaching and working beside professionals who strive to be their best. There is plenty of data to substantiate the importance of collaborating with colleagues who are at or above your level. This automatically causes you to enhance your own performance. Remember: One reaches up and out to get ahead. Personal growth doesn’t just happen; it takes effort.
MLADENSKY / ISTOCK / THINKSTOCK
I’ve been fortunate to have worked with amazing sales professionals with remarkable fortitude, resilience and persistence. They don’t give up. Sales isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it and they’d all be killing their quotas. I remember working with a non-traditional salesperson, who after six months stated, “I can’t do this. It’s not working.” I thought she was amazing and was doing everything right. But she wasn’t meeting her personal expectations. Yet I knew if she kept pushing forward, she could knock it out of the park. She did stick it out. Why? Because she made a commitment. The result was a wonderful sales career full of success.
Most sales people give up way too early. If it’s because you don’t want to do the work, then yes, GET OUT. But if you enjoy the work and power through, the payoffs can be tremendous. It takes time to build a territory, trust and credibility. Once you’ve earned that, you are on the road to referrals and incremental success.
As a sales leader or coach, you can help others with clarity and understanding. But personal commitment is something else. Like attitude, it’s more choice driven. No one can force a good attitude on another. You may be able to fake it for a while, but sales success is not derived from spurts of glory. It’s derived from the consistent delivery of a positive attitude that exudes from within.
Although we learn what not to do from less than stellar leaders or role models, we are challenged and more likely to grow when we’re surrounded by colleagues who strive for success. I can’t imagine anyone saying, “I want to work with a bunch of people who are willing to do the least possible to get by.” Think about your accounts. Do you enjoy working more with practices where success is a top priority? Where they truly value professionalism?
The bell curve is real. Where are you in relation to your colleagues? Are you in the camp of those needing more training or enhanced clarity to generate better results? Then what are you waiting for? Get the training or clarity necessary to get you out of your funk. Life is short. If a career in sales is not for you, by all means, find your passion, take a leap of faith and move on.