Doing Whatever It Takes To Succeed
By Tony Cole, President & CEO
- Stretch you to be your highest and best
- Be non-negotiable
- Require you to take a risk
- Make you uncomfortable
- Get you outside of your normal behavior
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By Tony Cole, President & CEO, Anthony Cole Training Group
Anna Stoehr, recently decided to sign up for Facebook. She keyed in all the requirements and everything seemed to go smoothly until it was time to enter her age. The problem was that her true age came back as invalid. Why? What was the problem? Well, Anna is Minnesota’s oldest resident and, at the time of the Facebook sign-up attempt, Anna was just days before her 114th birthday. If she really wanted to get onto Facebook, Anna only had one alternative – she had to lie about her age.
Welcome to Sales Brew.
We wanted to take a recent event and tie it to what we teach, coach and talk about in our approach to sales and sales management. One of the crucial elements for success in any endeavor is commitment. To determine an individual’s personal commitment in sales, we use a pre-hire and current sales evaluation tool provided by the Objective Management Group. One of the findings within the Crucial Elements for Success is commitment. Commitment is defined as “doing everything possible to succeed IN SELLING.” Anna had to “sell” Facebook on letting her use the tool so… she lied. She did everything possible to succeed.
Now, let’s make this perfectly clear – I do not accept lying as a way to get success. So, let’s further define commitment. Assuming legal, ethical and moral standards, commitment means “doing everything possible to succeed IN SELLING AND SALES MANAGEMENT.” I emphasize the selling and sales management because that’s what we do as a company. And, as a company, we are willing to do everything possible to help you succeed.
In another recent story – though not national or international news like Anna’s – a well published, highly recognized subject matter expert in the field of sales people evaluation posted a blog article and used two very controversial words that often are not included in a public forum – especially if you run the risk of offending prospects, clients and any other readers that might come across your article. He used the word “God” and… hmmmm, I’m actually not going to say the next word; I’ll just use a common expression for the word – “He dropped the ‘f’ bomb.” Yep, he sure did. And, boy, did he cause a stir.
What does this and Anna’s story have to do with selling and sales management? Everything. I’m sure that you find yourself in situations where you stop just short of saying or doing the thing you know you should do to get an appointment, get a commitment to buy, or get one of your sales people to commit to higher levels of success. Something keeps you from asking the next question, making the next statement, or challenging the other person to think differently. You might have a need for approval, a non-supportive belief system, fear of rejection, or less than perfect confidence in your position. So, instead of doing everything possible to succeed, you do the “almost everything possible to succeed”. You ask a question… but it’s a safe question. You tell your producer that they are making progress… instead of telling them they are failing. You let the buyer make the wrong decision… instead of challenging their decision to do the wrong thing.
The key to commitment is goal setting. Not just any ol’ kind of goal setting, but goal setting that stretches you and forces you to be your highest and best. Goal setting that has a set of goals that are non-negotiable. Goals that require you to take a risk, make yourself uncomfortable and make you occasionally have to do something that is outside of your normal behavior.
Being a liar I’m sure was not part of Anna’s normal behavior pattern. But, it appears that, for her, being on Facebook and having Facebook friends was non-negotiable.
As always, thank you for joining me today and… have a perfect day