Typically November is the time of year when sales reps decide if they can make a push to reach their goals (if they are not there yet), or “pack it in” until January 1st.
One year in the mattress business, I was lagging behind as mid-November hit. I was frustrated that the results were not there, and I was not “feeling it” anymore. Shortly after the “pity party”, my boss gave me a wake up call – and said that I could still do this. A trip for two including airfare and hotel to an exotic location was on the line for my wife and I. Giving up was not an option. We were able to qualify for awesome trips if annual goals were achieved.
I fully revised my account strategies. I went to the extremes as part of the plan. I evaluated how to get added business from the highest growth accounts, and the ones that were struggling too. I remember thinking to myself,
“I have to call that guy”?
Yep even the accounts that I did not like, I reached out.
I planned promotions, strategized with other reps, and squeezed every ounce of potential business out of the territory, without over stocking customers unnecessarily. My plan worked to perfection.
On December 30, I remember returning from holidays and going in to my home office for the best “fax of my life”. That was about 10 years ago – faxing was still cool -:)
My boss sent me the monthly goal update early, because I had achieved - I achieved by .5%!!!!!
I was so excited. I performed when the chips were down, when I could have easily “taken the rest of the year off”. Sorry Managers, it does happen.
I won’t end this with some big rah-rah you can do it pep talk!
Instead, just 4 words!
Believe, Plan, Implement, Smile (like crazy when you hit your numbers)!
ps. If you knew that question “So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?” was from the movie “Dumb and Dumber” staring Jim Carrey, you were right!
I am always proud of my hometown. As I sit back and relax on a Sunday, I reflect back to the wonderful Friday before. The place we natives call "The City" truly made me proud once more.
If by some chance you missed it, Batkid saved the day stopping the evil plots of the Riddler and the Penguin. Along the way he got help from his sidekick, the real Batman along with the efforts of thousands throughout San Francisco.
I have had a song stuck in my head for the past two months and played it well over 100 times (according to my iPod).
Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert do an incredible job on “We Were Us”.
Can’t wait to see Keith play live for the third time in Edmonton this January!
Have a great Saturday. Just digging out of a snow blizzard here!
WOW! I have not posted a “Have A Laugh Fridays” video in a few weeks. This one was well worth the wait. If you are a parent, this is a must see! If you don’t have kids, I think you will really get a kick out of it too!
Have a fantastic weekend.
Oh yeah, if you have not had a chance to “like” my Facebook page, swing by http://www.facebook.com/SellLeadSucceed
My first job out of university was with a car rental company. One of the key statistics that we were “graded” on was what percentage of customers purchased the $0 deductible coverage on each rental.
When I started to sell it, I was unsure of my pitch, hesitated often, and I didn’t believe in the value of the service.
One super-star in the office sold a higher percentage of the coverage then the rest of us . I started to watch him sell as often as I could, but it was difficult to get a read on his secrets to success.
I discovered a great way to find out what his “secrets” were. I asked him
His answer was powerful, yet simple.
“I expected to sell it to every customer. I had the mindset that there was no reasons that they should not buy it. What better time to have worry-free driving then when their car was in the shop or they were going on holidays. I was confident in my sales pitch, and acted surprised if they declined initially. Those objections still typically converted in to sales”.
When I shifted my mindset from “I hope to sell it” to “I expect to sell it” – it was a game changer for me. I still had to practice my pitch, learn to handle objections and be ready for all scenarios; but that expectation of success steadily improved my results.
- Can you reflect upon a time in your career when you felt confident selling something vs. being a little unsure of yourself?
- Describe what the difference in results were when you expected success?
- If you are not as confident as you should be now with what you are selling, what changes can you make to gain positive momentum?
“Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.” – Arnold H. Glasow
All I have ever known is hard work. It started as a kid when I was:
- attempting to perfect songs at piano lessons to prepare for recitals and/or exams
- playing sports
- washing dishes at a buffet restaurant, or working at a golf course
I was never the most talented at any of these things, but my hard work, dedication and commitment set me apart from others over the years.
My wife and decided to rip out our old flooring on the main level of our home in the spring of 2012, and replace it with new hardwoods. In the kitchen, the old hardwood came out rather easily, but underneath was a bit of a surprise! There were two layers of linoleum, with an unimaginable amount of staples still stuck in to the sub floor. As I hummed and hawed about actually getting down on my hands and knees to take out the staples, I had to take a moment to reflect and remind myself how I had completed many other undesirable tasks in the past.
There have been many projects that I have completed over the years, and during each journey wanted to quit many times. Below is some of the “fun” that I have engaged in:
- I shovelled my two-story roof over a period of three days in hip deep snow. I would be up there for long periods of time, and even had to call my wife on a cell phone to pass me up food and water on occasion!
- We decided to get smaller pieces of sod once when we cut down shrubs in our back yard, rather than the traditional long strips. This tripled my effort, but saved some money.
- I tried to salvage my poorly finished basement ceiling, by scraping off very old stipple, and then tried to repaint it.
- I removed a large flower bed of 10 to 20 lbs rocks to landscape the front of my house.
- I painted the interior of my 900 square foot condo & the interior of my two-story 1700+ square foot primary residences, both in short turn around times.
Being in the sales profession for well over a decade now, things like call reporting (and using CRM software), forecasting & handling services issues were certainly not things that I jumped out of bed to do over the years. Early in my career, I was lucky enough to wrap my head around the fact that this was all part of the process. Keeping up with required tasks allowed me to focus on more enjoyable parts of the roles like engaging customers and making sales.
I suspect that you don’t want to be on your boss’ radar for becoming known as somebody who does not keep up with reporting and other administrative tasks. Make this part of your daily routine. Trust me from experience. DO NOT wait until Friday afternoon to do all of your administrative work for the week. Use it as a time to tie it all together.
Oh yeah, back to pulling out an “endless supply” of staples from my kitchen floor last spring. I just kept my head down, and pulled those staples out, no matter how much my body hurt, keeping the vision in my mind of how awesome our home would look when it was all done.
You can read all the books, and study all the theories about what motivates people to do what they need to do to be successful in life. But it all comes back to you – you and your will to get through the “not so fun tasks” is the key so you can look forward to the fun parts of your job and of your life.
Accomplishing a task is the satisfaction, and that is my primary goal every time I work towards completing something that I really do not want to do.
- How do you motivate yourself to complete professional and personal tasks that you don’t like to do?
- How deep do you have to dig when all you want to do is lie on the couch sometimes, and avoid all the undesirable things on your “To Do List?”
The same people sitting around the same table produce the same results. It’s dumb to think otherwise.
It’s even dumber to expect the people who caused the problem to solve it.
The future is the past without intervention.
Working harder, if you're already working hard, won't change much.
Efficiency is never the path to exponential change.
Hope for dumb and dumber:
I have heard a couple of incredible interviews recently with hockey coaches. I immediately thought of the parallels to leaders in the business world. It seemed like an opportune time to repost this article on a professional hockey coach.
I was driving home from work one day last January and heard an awesome interview with Jeremy Rutherford from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the Team 1260 Sports Radio in Edmonton. The discussion focused on the new coach of the St. Louis Blues, Ken Hitchcock, and the team’s amazing turn-around since his hiring.
Highly regarded professional hockey coach Ken Hitchcock was out of work for some time when the St. Louis Blues hired him in November, 2011. He had a reputation throughout the National Hockey League as a disciplinarian for many years, and lead with a “my way or the highway” approach. He had a history of conflict with young players who were having trouble adapting to his style of play.
By the time he took over the floundering yet talented Blues hockey club, the positive change in the team was almost instantaneous. At one point in January of 2012, they were on a 21 wins, 6 losses and 2 overtime losses run. The team’s fans and casual observers were impressed with the team’s turnaround, but not totally surprised based on Hitchcock’s history of success.
When Jeremy Rutherford was asked about Hitchcock’s most recent success, his answer was simple and to the point,
He adjusted his coaching style to cater to today’s players. There is still accountability, but the players are not afraid to make one mistake and then have their butt stapled to the bench for an extended period. Two veterans who had previously played for Hitchcock gave the players a head’s up of what to expect from their new coach.
Rutherford described a potential scenario,
“You make one mistake, no problem. You make a second mistake, no problem. You continue to make the same mistake; the coach and player are going to have to find solutions.”
The part of the radio interview that impressed me the most discussed that Coach Hitchcock had studied all 30 teams for several months while he was unemployed. He was preparing for his next opportunity, and waiting for the phone to ring.
Two things stood out for me about this message:
- He was not just sitting at home waiting for the next job to fall in to his lap
- He had the positive belief that another role would come his way, and it was only a matter of time
- Have you ever observed a sport or business team make a remarkable improvement after a coaching or management change?
- Can you pinpoint specific reasons for the improvement?
At the end of August, I decided I needed to lose some weight. I had progressively let myself go, and for the first time in my life wanted to see if I could commit to losing a few pounds.
I am very proud to say that I DID IT!!!!
I attempted to lose 10 pounds over a 9 week period, and on my last weigh in I had lost 12 pounds!
Here are the top five lessons learned over the 9 weeks:
- It is NOT an easy thing to do!
- I still needed a TREAT day once per week to enjoy my favourite foods
- Eating healthy 95% of the time takes a lot of work but is worth it
- Eating smaller meals more often did surpress my appetite
- A normal portion size is much smaller than I ever thought
- I have a new mindset that if I deeply commit to something, I can achieve anything I want. There were some rough days, but I rarely wavered from my plan.
My thoughts often shifted to the discipline it takes to write daily, correspond on social media on a regular basis and move my business forward “a little bit every day”.
Anything that you need to do on a regular basis can be accomplished if you dedicate to it. I am feeling more confident than ever and look forward to keeping the weight off.
Here is the link to my original blog post discussing my weight loss plan:
- What do you need to commit to today that you are needing to work on?
- Doubt that you can do it? Think again! You’ll never know if you don’t try!
If this inspired you to work on a personal challenge, I would love to hear about the results.
Please email me at: TimMushey@gmail.com