Commited, Proud, Knowledgeable and Failing

Mike Stewart

"They are committed, proud and knowledgeable," the sales manager told me when I asked him how his salespeople were doing. He went on to tell me that his team didn't require training or supervision because of these qualities.

"My people represent the company and all that it stands for," he went on to say. And he told me how strong the brand was - which was true. He told me about their reputation for integrity and service - which was also true. "That's good enough for me!" he exclaimed.

"I don't want to insult them," he added, "by suggesting that they aren't good enough or by questioning their professionalism." The results of his attitude were:
1. A leaderless sales organization that was not making its numbers,
2. Salespeople who thought they were doing okay although they were failing, and
3. A lost sales for me, for the time being.

Persistence pays, and I stayed in touch with this situation. Not too long afterward, I learned that the sales manager had been replaced and I followed up with the new manager. I said to him, "I know you have great people on your team. They are committed, proud and knowledgeable... but I wonder how their numbers are." "Not good," he said. Then he talked about the team's lack of performance.

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be satisfied with mediocrity no matter how impressive their talents. -Andrew Carnegie

"How does that make you feel?" I asked the new sales manager. "Terrible," he said. "These numbers are just ridiculous. I can't put up with this." So I asked him, "What would you like for me to help you do about it?"

The successful end of this story is that these proud, committed, knowledgeable salespeople had been failing because they weren't doing the sales work required. They changed their ways by...
- Eliminating excuses and accepting their responsibilities
- Analyzing their territories and identifying their target accounts
- Preparing territory and time management plans
- Making sales calls and filling their sales funnels
- Moving prospects through their funnels, and
- Closing more sales.

Good salespeople can get better!

To your success, always!


Mike Stewart, Certified Speaking Professional, Registered Corporate Coach and author of Close More Sales!
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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