This week I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman in South Africa who owns his own tour company. He did a brilliant job of taking us on a day tour to Stellenbosch Wine Country. During our ride, he told us about his life story. He told us, "I was always an employee with a corporation and now I am living dangerously.” He piqued my curiosity and I asked, “What do you mean living dangerously?” His answer is the basis for today’s blog. He said, “Being in sales means you are an entrepreneur. You never can count on a pay check, you have to be responsible for your own success.”
No kidding – I couldn’t have agreed with him more. That led me to really think about golfers as I was sitting at Ernie Els' Winery in Stellenbosch. People often compare successful sales people to great athletes. How they compete, their work ethic and desire to succeed can put sales professionals right in the mindset of a golfer.
Yet today, I find some sales organizations have lost their competitive edge. Too afraid to put results on the wall, trying to make all things equal so we don’t make marginal performers feel bad.
As a professional golfer you hire a coach, a caddie and surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude. The golfer listens to their advice, feedback and criticism since they were hired to help the professional win!
NOTE: The golfer ‘hired’ his/her coach and therefore listens to him/her. The sales professional is hired by the leader/coach and ultimately should be helping the sales professionals win! So what happens in the corporate world? Why does this not work as well?
Simple: Everyone gets ‘too busy’ to help develop their sales team. Then, the sales professional starts to make excuses for not winning business and it becomes a vicious cycle. Stop the madness now and remember that if you are in sales, you are 100% responsible for your success. If you are not getting enough coaching, feedback, criticism and leadership – ask for it.
You either win or lose – it is your choice!