The last couple of weeks seem to have been a blur of activity…
I’ve been finalising the text for my next sales training book, "No Fear Cold Calling", writing the outlines for my new open seminar "Close the Sale, Get that Deal" (or "Shut That Door!" as it has become known around here) and continuing planning for my new sales project Talking Sales Success. And I know that many of you are just as focused…
And many of you aren’t!
In the last year I have run open seminars for c. 10,000 delegates in the UK alone, delivered 100+ days of seminars / training, given motivational speeches for annual conferences, AGMs and away days and done sales coaching / training for a handful of select clients. And that’s before I started working on books, audios, DVDs or even blog articles! Meeting, working with and helping all of those people has been a delight but it can also be a frustration, particularly when individuals are not working at the right Si (Sales Intensity) rating.
As a rough guesstimate I would say that individuals fit into one of four camps:
Sales camp 1: Sales Superstars! Si rating of 9-10 (out of a possible 10)
Salespeople in this camp are focused and up for it. They know what they want. They usually have personal goals as well as their manager’s targets. These salespeople are a delight to work with. If you are one of them, I’m talking about you! If you’re not, you know what I mean!
Words that would describe these salespeople are words like … motivated, up for it, focused, tenacious, persistent, charasmatic…
These salespeople are successful. Not sometimes immediately because success takes time but always in the medium to long term. Salespeople in this camp are confident and self-assured because they know that they are doing what it takes to succeed. They do not fear market changes, company melt downs or economic crisis because they know that there will always be a market for sales superstars who can make sales and grow businesses.
Superstars can often be found in the office early in the morning and late into the evening. They are not clock-watchers, coffee breakers, long-lunchers or excuse makers. That said, when they do need to go home early or take an extended lunch break they do it secure in the knowledge that they have done what they needed to do … and more!
Conventional wisdom would point to Pareto’s Law here and suggest that this group represent about 20% of salespeople. I disagree, it’s much more like 10%!
The main danger for this group is losing focus and intensity due to excessive work load, distractions or complacency. The best solution to this is to know what you want, know why you want it and to keep focusing on core activities that would get the results that you want. And keep on striving for that magical Si rating of 11!
Sales camp 2: Maybe Baby! Si rating of 6-8
Salespeople in this group do OK. They know what they want and they get it… some of the time. When they’re on an 8 they’re pretty good people to be around. They usually get reasonable results and they can be very focused at times.
Unfortunately, they can also be a bit half-hearted. They have a tendency to "go through the motions". They can be quite demotivational and spend more time than necessary drifting, talking and generally doing non-essential activities.
"Going through the motions" is one of the 5 cardinal sins of sales. Going through the motions will bore you. Going through the motions will dampen your sales atmosphere and, most critically, going through the motions will switch your clients off… instantly!
Sales is a contest. Selling is an activity which you have to win at! Sales is not some politically correct, everyone is equal, don’t tell them they were wrong, don’t upset anyone activity.
- You either impress your prospect or you don’t!
- You either make the sale or you don’t!
- You either negotiate the deal you wanted or you don’t!
- The money’s either in your bank account or it’s not!
There are no prizes for second place. Commission does not come to the sales professional who "nearly" won the deal. The winner will not be someone who was "going through the motions".
Maybe Babyites need personal goals. They need fire. They need desire. They need to dig deep and work out why this really is important to them. They need to plan their days and focus on activities that get them the results that they crave. They need to avoid distractions and to start hanging around with the Sales Superstars.
Sales camp 3: Mediocre Journeyman Wannabees! Si rating 3-5
Salespeople in this group are painfully unfocused. They lack commitment, direction and discipline and they rarely hit target. They can often be "nice " people and will often fit in around the office (they have the time – they’re not that focused!). They are often popular unless they’re Whinging Journeyman, in which case, they’re not!
Mediocre Journeyman can often do the job. Sometimes they have done it before. They can often "talk a good game". They can show amazing moments of clarity and brilliance. I have one client who employs a classic Journeyman! He always talks a good game. What he says makes sense. He has all of the answers and all of the experience. Tantalisingly, he sometimes "turns it on" and outshines the Superstars but the rest of the time, sadly, it’s all what might have been, what could have been, what he will do NOT what he is doing.
Mediocre Journeyman are often "bored". They often find their roles "too easy", "not stimulating enough", "repetitive"… They say this and then they push papers around their desk, chat to their mates, surf the t’internet and stare into space oblivious of the fact that motivation comes from within…
MJ’s need to do some soul-searching. They need to spend time and work out what is really important to them. They need to revisit their life plan, their goals and their behaviours.
Ironically, it is MJ’s half-hearted approach to work which bores them! I went to a show last night. To be fair to the players it was only a local church troup singing opera and on that scale it wasn’t bad! But I’ve been to some of the best opera houses and heard some of the best singers in the world. I have a lot going in my head (books, audios etc..) at the moment and I switched off and tried to "cruise through". I was a Mediocre Journeyman listener and boy oh boy did I make it hard work for myself. I was literally watching the seconds tick by on my watch… at one point I thought they were going backwards, I made an hour and twenty minutes feel like a lifetime…
And MJ’s do that every day. Ouch!
You spend a lot of time at work so make it quality time. Get focused on what you need to do and crank up that Si rating. You’ll have much more fun and the results will be worth it. Hey, you might even start to have some fun.
Sales camp 4: Sales Losers! Si rating 1-4
I once wrote an article talking about Sales Losers and someone told me that they thought it was unfair for me to be subjective and call people "losers". They said that it was disrespectful and that they might be "winners", just not in the way I judged it!
So here’s my thoughts:
- No-one is born in a camp and everyone can move camps!
- The camp does not represent you, it’s just where you are at this point in time!
- The camp is for Sales Losers therefore if you’re not selling, you’re not winning and you are (at the moment) a loser
- Being told you have lost is not a bad thing, it’s a call to action!
I guess many of you reading this may have met or spoken to me. I’m not a bad guy! And I try to be "nice"! But I am not your friend, I’m your coach. And sometimes coaches need to give you some hard love! For sure, I could blow hot air on you and say you’re doing fine but frankly if you’re not, what good does that do you?
So Sales Losers…
Are rarely focused. They are usually negative and they are not good for the office. They don’t hit target and they don’t do the activity necessary to hit target. When they do take action it’s not done in the right way, in the right attitude or with any belief that it will have the desired results.
I see far more Sales Losers on my travels than I should. I have worked with companies from one-man-bands to multi-national corporations and c. 95% were employing salespeople in all 4 camps and that includes Sales Losers. In coaching / consulting sessions with directors I often hear that they have staff who are not on target, who are costing the business money, who have never broken even, who don’t operate at the right level of intensity and who have been with the company for a significant period of time… often measured in years rather than months!!!
Sales Losers will destroy your business. They are a negative influence and dampen the energy levels in your business. They are akin to sailing a ship with the anchor weighed or trying to sprint with a parachute pulling you back. Laughably, when Sales Losers are disciplined they often say, "I was wondering why you never spoke to me before!" or "It’s ok I have another job!"
Sales Losers need help. Help to leave or help to switch camps. Either way, they’ll more than likely thank you for it!
Improving your Si rating will not only make your days more fulfilling, it will also improve your sales results so it’s down to you now…
What’s your habitual Si rating? What is it right now? What is it when things are going well? What is it when things are going badly? What affects it? What are you going to do about it?
One good way of cranking up your Si level is to spend more time with focused, motivated people. Want to spend some time with me? Invest in my Sales Success audio programme or my latest sales seminar schedule now.