Presidential Elections and Sales Leadership - What is Our Best?

Posted by Chris Mott on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 11:01 AM

Ballot BoxIt’s campaign season and the candidates are jockeying for position and advantage. Imagine getting up every day, I mean seven days a week, and putting in sixteen-hour days. Can you see yourself doing this for six, nine, twelve or eighteen months without stopping? Assuming you win, you must then maintain this same level of commitment for one or maybe two terms.

In addition, every word you say is ripped apart by the press looking for a headline that will grab attention and sell “the” story. Things you did twenty or thirty years ago become the most important events of your life and your family is scrutinized to the point of nakedness.

It’s really quite an amazing feat. Witness the visible aging process presidents go through. The expectation is that this is what it takes regardless of whether it’s fair, reasonable or appropriate.

What drives people to do this? Ego is one compelling reason.  The desire to serve, a sense of incredible urgency and passion for the USA are others.

In a documentary about the USA Women’s Soccer team, who first won the world cup long before women’s soccer became mainstream, the team said that while competitive drive was a big reason for their success, the real motivation was to “legitimize soccer for young girls”. When I heard this my reaction was, "Wow!"

Giving your best is both relative and varied. One person's best is another person's worst. Some salespeople maintain extremely high levels of commitment for very long periods of time while others act more like sprinters.

As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to help your salespeople identify the “compelling reasons” which will result in “their best”. Proactive motivation on your part is required. There is an absolutely terrific scene, which you must watch and have your sales force watch in “Facing the Giants”. In it the coach demands and gets “the best” from one of his players. What is really cool is his strategy for doing this.

By the way, what is your "best" and how do you leverage this yourself?

Topics: sales, sales performance, Motivation, elections, your best, urgency

Sales Pain - Are you Creating Enough

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 @ 15:08 PM

Yesterday was my weekly personal trainer appointment.  Tony, my trainer, has been teaching me the fundamentals of Olympic power lifting.  His belief is that training this way addresses more muscle groups and builds explosiveness. My interest beyond physical fitness is to be a better bicycle rider and being explosive should improve my ability to climb hills.

So there I was, sweating away, attempting to get the form right.  It turns out that lifting heavy weights requires strength but it's the form and process that makes it possible.  The most difficult part is learning to literally throw your body under the bar as the weight reaches your chest.

I was out of my element, over-thinking everything, and today I'm sore.  The sales question is, are you pushing your salespeople outside of their comfort zone and forcing them to "throw" themselves into situations that make them hurt?

If you're not, then you aren't effectively doing your job and you are doing them a disservice.  The truth is, we don't really grow as people and practitioners until we force ourselves, or get forced into situations where, we may know they are good for us but we avoid them because we aren't comfortable being outside our comfort zone.


In the current economic times it's harder than ever to succeed and my view is that only the people who change and adapt will thrive. So what's your choice?

Topics: sales training, sales performance, sales improvement, selling tips

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