Most sales people put limitations on themselves. This manifests in many, many ways. Some are obvious, but others are more subtle ways of sabotaging sales success.
In the book, Coach Will, by Todd Gehrke, a number of self-sabotaging traits are revealed within the story of Coach Will, a brilliant football coach who uses his coaching skills to build a highly successful mortgage brokerage team. Our story focuses on his effective mentoring of a struggling mortgage lender, Michael.
Coach Will guides Michael to use systems for efficiency in his business. In the course of reorganizing his business Michael gets extremely busy, spending days reorganizing his files, getting his contact book up to date, completely cleaning his office and gleaning through old magazines he had planned to read. It felt great to be so busy and he rewarded himself with a fun (but long) lunch with a fellow worker.
The problem is that the most important aspect of any salesperson’s life, making the calls that will connect with clients or new potential customers, was overlooked. All the busyness was primarily a way to procrastinate and not make the phone calls that could lead to new business. It is a great example of being busy, but doing things that are not essential to actually creating business. The key is to be strategic about your use of time. Sure, certain types of organizational tasks are important, but never are a substitute for the contact with people that is required to create the relationships essential to making the sale. Everyday actions need to be made to generate money making opportunities.
A quote from the book by John Wooden is a great antidote to another form of self-sabotage. “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” It is easy to get stuck during the day when faced with a new task or problem that you really can’t solve or don’t have the skills to accomplish easily.
Many people get stuck when putting together a presentation or other key sales tool and spend hours trying to make it look good. However, their limited skill with the appropriate software creates frustration and the end results are not that satisfactory. Instead of trying to overcome weaknesses, the smart salesperson focuses on using their key strengths as much as possible. The areas of weakness can be much more effectively handled by hiring an expert in that field to do it for them. Especially with all of the online outsourcing available today, paying someone an hourly rate to do in one hour what you would take four frustrating hours to do it a very good investment. Focus on your own strengths and don’t let your areas of weakness sabotage your time and your energy.
But most of all, focus your energies on money generating activities to create uncommon sales success.