It never fails. Maybe it's because my antennae are always up for "stuff" I can use in our sales training sessions. Movies, books, poems, and now vacations. Maybe I'm just a sicko about this stuff, but I believe there are always lessons to be learned that apply to selling if you just pay attention.
This lesson was about commitment. You've heard me speak and seen me write about commitment in the past. I've almost always linked this to Objective Management Group's assessment and overview findings. Within the documentation, there is a definition of commitment: "Doing everything possible to succeed." Notice it doesn't say "willing to do", it says "doing".
Derrick Dortch is a basketball player. Not just any basketball player, but a basketball player on a team of extraordinary individuals that plays for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Wheelchair basketball team. If you go to their website, you will see what I mean. But I met Derrick while on vacation last week and I can tell you that he and his teammates are truly extraordinary people in that they define "doing everything possible to succeed." I mean everything. Derrick was born with spinal bifida - a congenital birth defect that has left Derrick without the use of his legs. I won't take the time here to tell you all about our conversation, but this is what I learned in the 3 days we had to get to know each other. He is a member of a basketball team that has won the national championship 2 out of the last 3 years. He can perform a handstand while secured to his wheelchair. He climbs stairs in his wheel chair. He has an attitude of "don't tell me I can't do something because I'll just find a way to prove you wrong." He will finish college with a degree in computer management. Derrick and his teammates define "everything possbile to succeed."
Fasa is on the wait staff on the cruise ship Imagination. Fasa is from Bali. When you think of Bali, you think of resort destination to the extremely wealthy. I now know that Bali was struck by terrorists on October 5, 2005. When he mentioned this, I seem to remember the event but certainly didn't give it much thought. As a result of the blast and the resulting "terror", tourism, a major economic contributor to Bali, has fallen on extremely hard times. Fasa's mother, father and two sisters all worked in the tourist trade. They are all now unemployed. Fasa is married with one child. Fasa spends nine weeks away from his home working to support his entire family. Fasa clearly understands and executes the idea of commitment
When I coach and consult with senior sales executives, sales managers and sales people, I address commitment as doing everything possible to succeed. Time and time again, when I question someone's level of commitment, I get push back and it is often push back that has an element of emotional defensiveness. It is understandable. No one likes to be accused of not having commitment to succeed. I know I was defensive when I was approached with this several years ago. But my mentor was right. I wasn't doing everything possible to succeed. I was only doing those things that were comfortable and doing those activities that kept me busy instead of those activities that generated real results. I made excuses instead of progress.
If you are currently failing to get the results you say you want, you must ask yourself:
- Am I doing everything possible to succeed?
- What am I doing that isn't helping?
- Am I making excuses?
Only after you honestly answer these questions can you begin the process of succeeding in sales at extraordinary levels. I know this takes courage but selling, just like overcoming the loss of legs or leaving home and family behind, takes courage and commitment to do everything possible to succeed.