Friday, August 21, 2009


When I scheduled today's sales tip on Sunday, I was watching Tiger trying to win the last Major of the season. Jeff Garrison wrote this:

Sales and Commitment to Improve

Posted: 12 Aug 2009 07:51 AM PDT

Tiger WoodsEntering the sales profession is a lot like being a kid who has reached the age where they begin playing competitive sports. Virtually all kids have the ability to be great at one sport at least. Unfortunately, a variety of factors will cause many kids to put away the bats, balls, rackets, skateboards, etc.

Fortunately, many will try a variety of sports and find at least one in which they develop a level of competence to enjoy playing. Most of these kids will perform at an average level and are likely to end their competitive careers during their high school years.

A handful of kids will go on to have college careers and a handful will go on to play professionally. These college athletes represent a small percentage of those who began playing sports as kids.

Many people enter the sales profession, but only a small percentage reach a level of peak performance like many collegiate and professional athletes.

What are some of the elements that have contributed to their success?

  • They are with a company selling a product that suits them (i.e., they enjoy it and are able to develop basic competence in their niche)
  • They find themselves in a supportive environment
  • They receive good training and coaching
  • They are Committed to Improve

Commitment to improve is the most important factor.

Those who study their industry, read books about sales, attend workshops and seminars, network with other sales professionals, and deliberately practice their skills will wind up performing at an elite level.

Here is a deliberate practice suggestion.

Ben Franklin has a list of thirteen virtues that he strove to improve upon. His strategy was to focus on one per week. He carried a chart with him to track his progress daily.

Like Ben Franklin, identify the key ares to your sales success and document what they are. Focus on one per week to make at least a little improvement. In less time than you think, you will find that by increasing your competence, your confidence, the amount of fun you have, and your sales results will also increase.

Please share what you think the key areas of weekly focus should be for sales professionals.

Photo on flickr by Keith Allison

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