You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Each of us finds ourselves at crossroads throughout our lives. Choices brought on by possibilities, challenges, opportunities, obligations, and priorities.
Sometimes the choices are made for us. The last few days I looked at how those choices can be made for us…being put in a category and the consequences of being there.
Yes, our performance may have put us in that category, but thankfully, our improved performance can get us out of it. If you can take responsibility for how you got here, then you have the ability to dig your way out – you still have control.
I have seen it happen.
A few years ago, I had to tell a group of agents labeled as under-performers that they were at the “make it or break it” crossroads their career. The writing (and low production numbers) was on the wall.
What do you do when you are at a crossroad?
I told this group that my job was to help them improve but there was no magic bullet. I wrote the word “Decide” on a whiteboard and then wrote the following 5 things:
#1 Decide if this is the right opportunity for you. People get into sales for a variety of reasons, but once they experience what it takes to be successful, some realize it may not be for them. There is no shame in that. We all have unique talents and gifts, that when applied in the wrong arena, can make us look dysfunctional. Some people hang on longer than they should and if the love and determination is not there, eventually, they quit or get pushed out.
Others are simply missing an ingredient or two to make a go of it and be successful. They can “feel it in their bones” that this is right and that the challenges they face today are temporary and they are willing to work through them to the next level. Even if you are struggling, you can decide to stick it out and fight for your dreams!
#2 Decide you will have a positive attitude. Nothing is more difficult to reverse than a negative attitude. I am not talking about people who give constructive feedback, express frustration at temporary setbacks, or relay bad news. We all know the difference between that and a “chronic” complainer. Nothing that is happening is their fault. It is the bad leads, the bad products, the bad clients.
Someone with a positive attitude is willing to learn, receive constructive feedback and correction. They can “take a licking and keep on ticking”. None of us know everything (you thought I did, didn’t you?) and all of us need help sometimes. It is hard to extend help to someone with a poor attitude, but easy (and rewarding) to help someone who has a “can do” spirit!
#3 Decide you will take no shortcuts. Shortcuts are for people who know where they are going. If you are struggling with activity and effectiveness, you are likely weaker in the fundamentals. Take Prospecting and Closing where poor performance is tied to not having enough clients to see and/or not closing enough of the ones you do see. Decide that your areas of weakness will become a focus. If you do not have enough clients then you will have to do the “hard work” of basic prospecting methods…like canvassing, telemarketing or direct B2B visits.
Will it be easy? No, but you must decide that you want this bad enough to do what is necessary.
#4 Decide you will be smarter. I am not talking about I.Q (whew!), but I am talking about learning all you can about your industry, company and products. Companies offer Webinars, live trainings and resources to help you better position your product for more effective selling. The information you learn may help you close more cases!
You can also engage coaches, mentors and other like-minded salespeople to help you get better at prospecting, presentations and closes. The more you exercise your brain, the more confidence you build – the more confidence you have, the less fear you have.
When the fear is gone, then your performance will improve!
#5 Decide you will work harder. Be honest with yourself…are you really throwing all you have at this? Anything in life that you really want, you will work at it. Can you get started earlier? Can you make 40 contacts a week? Can you follow up better?
Only you know if you are truly working. Only you can know where you need to give it more. Decide today to “Do the Work”!
Deciding these 5 things will help if you find yourself outside the Top 10 or the 20%. In some respects, they are mental elements and not “drop down and give me 50” physical activities. That is the great thing about change – it happens first in the mind…of which we have total control!