March Madness is all the rage with college hoop fans glued to their sports news feeds, video highlights, and brackets. In addition to March madness, folks are paying a lot of attention to the US Presidential Primaries, with an audience that's huge in comparison to past election years. Spring Training began this month and as a baseball fan, I've been waiting for spring training all winter long! These distractions are evident in a number of ways and I can speak to how they affect business, the sales organization and salespeople.
This month, more people are showing up late for online training, showing the effects of staying up late to watch election coverage and debates and seeing how their favorite teams fared the night before.
Prospects have behaved worse than ever. Salespeople are having even more difficulty reaching prospects and getting calls and emails returned - even from those who have expressed their interest in doing business.
On my own blog, March readership has been upside down with some articles getting only 10% of the views they normally receive. For instance, here are 4 articles that I can almost guarantee that you didn't read, but that you should have:
Top 5 Conditions for B2B Prospects to Buy Your Services
Top 5 Keys to Prepare Your Sales Force for the Coming Recession
The Strategy That Will Help Nail Your ROI and Value Proposition Every Time
How to Sell to Existing Accounts So That You Don't Lose to the Competition
Salespeople are exhausted. The salespeople who are selling to me, the salespeople we are coaching, and the salespeople we are training are all a step behind. They're not quick enough on their feet, they aren't listening effectively, and they are missing openings, important statements and comments.
Even the salespeople who have been scheduled for job interviews are showing up late, missing appointments and have been generally disappointing in their interviews.
I love all of these entertaining things as much as the next person and I'm short on sleep too. But we can't let that get in the way of what we need to be doing during business hours. We all need to operate much like a jet airplane ready for take-off. When it's time, rev those engines, accelerate down the runway, lift off and soar. The lazy, distracted, zero-urgency, going through the motions pretenders will not have any success - with me or with anyone else.
If you have the skills and the Sales DNA, then you must be focused, disciplined, consistent, committed, motivated and persistent - characteristics that anyone - and I mean anyone - is capable of for 8 hours a day. If you lack the skills and/or the Sales DNA, then you must use those same characteristics to develop your skills, overcome your weaknesses and become the best that you can be.
You have a choice - be part of the elite 7%; be part of the strong 16% or be part of the crappy 77%.