always said to myself that if I could apply the same discipline I
applied at work to my eating and my golfing I would be a thin scratch
golfer. One down...
Please read this article the way I intended to write it. First, what it is not.
It is not an article about how I lost 40 pounds. Nor is it an article
about why I lost 40 pounds. Instead, please read this as an article
about how to get people to change.
Awareness? I knew I was forty pounds overweight and your salespeople
know they are under performing. I also knew I wasn't very healthy.
Awareness alone is not enough and when you continue to tell people what
they already know, it makes them more, not less resistant.
Reasons? I had one reason for not changing and it went like this:
"I don't have any other vices. I don't smoke, drink, gamble or carouse.
Just let me have my food!" I found a way to justify my weight, health
and eating, but in the end, it was just one, big excuse. Your
salespeople have excuses too. "Prospecting is a waste of time" and "I'm
too busy doing that CRM stuff you want me to do" and "I'm working on a
proposal". Just excuses.
What changed? I was ready, but I had been ready before. I was
committed, and a few times in the past I had committed to diets. This
time, it had to be permanent. This time it had to be for the right
reasons. This time it had to be lifestyle, not diet. What must change
with your salespeople? They have to be ready. They must be committed.
They must be committed for the right reasons. It has to be permanent.
It has to be a work style change, not an exercise or experiment.
A number of things made my transition successful:
Speaking of your salespeople, EcSELL Institute is conducting a
national research project that looks at sales management through the
eyes of a sales rep. It is asking sales reps, from across the US and
Canada, what they want and need from their sales managers. The research
project is trying to define a wish list that sales managers can use to
guide their own sales management behavior. It takes 3 minutes to
complete. Have your salespeople visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EcSELL_SalesRepSurvey.
- I was inspired this time - by my wife - who assured me that I could do this.
- I knew what had to change - not my 40 pounds of excess - that was
too overwhelming. I had to change what I ate. So I simply eliminated
processed food, specifically sugar and flour. I could manage that every
day, three times per day, with no problem. Even though the staples of
my diet were ice cream and bread, when I eliminated them, everything
else tasted spectacular. You know what your salespeople have to change
and it begins with their prospecting behaviors. The revenue part is
overwhelming to them. Change what they have to do each day and it
becomes simpler. Clear the path!
- I knew how to measure the change. This part was easy because I
could measure how I felt and what I weighed each day. You know exactly
which forward looking indicators you must measure for sales performance
and they are all at the front end of the funnel.
- I know how to hold myself accountable. I performed a daily huddle
with myself and held myself accountable for what I ate and what I
weighed each day. Do the same with your salespeople. Hold them
accountable to what they do each day relative to building their
- I committed. And with no exceptions. Exceptions ruin everything so
I don't make them. That "no exception" rule leads to discipline and
- I tracked my progress and today, exactly one year later, I am 40
pounds lighter, I don't take any medications, and I'm really healthy. (I
did this without exercising, too) Track the progress your salespeople
are making and show them how much healthier their pipeline becomes and
how much better their bank account looks.