Even the best salespeople sometimes make dumb mistakes that hinders their success. Top performing salespeople know that they must be careful and identify those kind of potential stumbling blocks before they happen. The worst thing that could happen is to have their momentum interrupted. By avoiding these mistakes, you can keep your momentum going, which will help you avoid any ruts. In the June 1, 2017 Inc. magazine article 7 Dumb Things Smart People Do That Limit Their Careers, by Gordon Tredgold, who is a business and IT transformation expert who has successfully delivered $100 million programs, run $300 million departments, and led 1,000-staff teams for Fortune 100 companies, shares what he considers to be the mistakes that can hinder career success. The same lessons can be applied to the world of sales.
Believe thinking and talking are the same as doing.
A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. If you are just talking or thinking about how you are going to be a top performer this month, that’s not enough to actually make it happen. Only by doing the proper activities will you see success. This can be anything – coming in early, committing to battling objections at every sales call, reading a new sales book, etc. Only through activities and behavior can you see your success be realized. Thinking and talking about it are a great first step to get your attitude right, but you have to have the activity to compliment it.
Wait to be promoted before doing the next level job
Gordan says that leadership isn’t a title or a position; it’s about action, influence and the ability to drive results. Even if you have no desire to be promoted to management, being a leader in your current role will help your success. Taking on extra leads or responsibility will only add to your value as an employee, a mentor, and as a professional salesperson.
Fail to communicate clearly/failing to practice
As salespeople, communication is our bread and butter. Without the ability to effectively communicate, it’s extremely difficult to be successful. Even the best salespeople have days and instances where they were not able to communicate the value of the product/service clearly to the prospect. This can be remedied by rehearsing and practicing your pitches. That way, you’ll never be caught in a moment where you are stumbling over your words/rambling.
Feedback is one of those things that a lot of people are resistant to. Sometimes, constructive feedback can be seen as harsh critique. People inherently don’t want to be told that they are doing something wrong. It’s not only embarrassing, but it’s a huge blow to someone’s ego. Interestingly enough, the top performing salespeople are always the ones who are the most open to feedback and help, even if they are constantly #1. This is because by constantly improving and developing, top performers can sharpen their skills and stay away from ruts. A top performing executive once told me that “When you are green, you’re growing. When you are ripe, you rot.”
These four simple things are silly mistakes that can be easily avoided. Unfortunately, almost everybody will make these at some point in their career. The best thing is to learn from your experiences and avoid making the same mistake twice. Remember, top performers are in charge of their own destiny. By consciously avoiding these 4 things, you will take a gigantic step towards success.
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