The Search for Perfection - How it Can Ruin Your Sales Efforts

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 @ 22:09 PM

darksideSometimes perfection is good but sometimes there is a strange dark side.  First the good and then, in the fifth paragraph, I'll share the frightening dark side with you.

First the good: After months of planning and design, Jonathan Farrington, his design team and the Sales Council (I am one of the Sales Council members along with 23 others including Jill Konrath, Linda Richardson, Keith Rosen, and Tony Alessandra) have finally launched Top Sales World, a site with hopes of becoming the top web site for sales on the planet!  Stop by and let me know what you think.  Over the coming weeks and months you will find the best expertise, advice, videos, podcasts, articles and resources on sales and sales leadership. More good: Lee Salz has been working on his Sales Management Minute for quite some time and it too strives for perfection.  Visit him and let him know what you think.  And as my regular readers know, I've been working with my team at Objective Management Group for more than 20 years to perfect the Sales Force Evaluation, the Sales Candidate Assessment and the Leadership Team Evaluation and as always, we are THIS CLOSE to perfection.

That's the good side of perfection - you work hard, diligently and creatively to develop something and it comes out, well, almost perfect.

But as I mentioned earlier, there is a dark side to perfection and I'll share the gory details with you here.  You have salespeople who are perfectionists and while this is a good when it comes to attention to detail and getting things right, it's bad when it comes to selling. Bad things have names - usually Greek or Latin, so I named it Perfection Adversis - Perverse for short - when your salespeople can't, or more specifically, won't, do what they need to do until they're sure they can do it...perfectly.  As you know, it's simply not possible to consistently sell with a perfect approach.

Let's take prospecting for example.  You have some people who are prospecting monsters - no problem.  You have others with call reluctance - too many weaknesses to even think about using the phone to make cold calls and you understand their fears and have them in account management roles.  Still others must be directed to call and then held accountable. Finally, there are your perfectionists who, because they are unable to achieve cold calling perfection, don't even make the attempt.  These salespeople, in a hopeless search for perfection, are chronic procrastinators.

Is there hope?  Yes, of course. And all you have to do is....

Give them permission to do it badly!  Do it with them.  Help them fail!  Make sure they have fun with it.  Make it a game.  Give them points just for doing it.  In time, they'll strive to improve but they can't improve until they start and they can't start until you find a way to make it safe for them.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's better than what they're doing now!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Coaching, Sales Force, Keith Rosen, Linda Richardson, jonathan farrington, jill konrath, Top Sales World, perfectionists, procrastinators, sales management minute, lee salz, tony alessandra

Hierarchy of Sales Coaching - How to Change Behavior

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 @ 05:09 AM

Seth Godin posted a great article on hierarchy of success.

Speaking of hierarchy, here is what I believe to be the hierarchy for changing sales behavior:

  1. Clear expectations - what needs to change and why?
  2. Timeline - (not 30/60 or 90 days) - you expect to start seeing these changes tomorrow.
  3. Measurables - what you'll be looking for and how you'll measure the change.
  4. Consequences - what will happen if you don't see the change you need.

Speaking of changing sales behavior, it's a huge part of sales coaching and today Keith Rosen launches a new book on the subject, called Coaching Salespeople into Champions.  Keith has a special promotion on the book too.

Order Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions over the next 72 hours and enjoy access to hundreds of dollars worth of additional bonus materials from dozens of the world's top sales and business thought leaders (including me). You can spend hundreds of dollars separately or you can invest about $20.00, order one copy of Keith's book today and spend not one penny more. Look at the resources you get here.

One thing that stood out in reading about Keith's book is that rather than fill this book with fabricated case studies and hypothetical scenarios, every story you read is based on actual events, genuine scenarios, and real people you can relate to who Keith has actually coached.

You'll discover how to facilitate a coaching conversation that fits your management style-the same system Keith uses to coach thousands of salespeople, business owners, and managers. You'll also find out what to say in any situation as well as the language and dialog that the world's greatest coaches use. There's also dozens of actual case studies spanning over 15 different industries and professions, templates, scripts, masterful coaching questions and an easy-to-follow coaching process regarding how to apply these techniques.

Click here to get more information and/or to order his book.

Speaking of coaching salespeople into champions, your last chance to see me in 2009 is November 3, when I keynote an Executive Luncheon that will also be streamed live worldwide.

If you are in the New England area and within an hour or two of Bentley University, and would like to attend the luncheon (Presidents, CEO's Directors, Sales VP's, HR Directors, Partners) you can click here for more information and/or to register.  

If you are not in New England and would like the event streamed to your desktop, click here for more information and/or to register.

Use Discount Code DK1103 and you won't have to pay!

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

 


Topics: Dave Kurlan, Keith Rosen, new book, Executive luncheon, November 3, Bentley, Seth Godin, Hierarchy of Sales Coaching

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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