Here’s the problem: Sales results are not what you expected. Regardless of your role - sales manager or salesperson - you are looking at your sales results YTD and you are:
- Not ahead of last year’s production
- Not on pace to hit this year’s goals (personal or corporate)
- Not keeping pace with those in your peer group (those you should be able to compete with based on experience and previous success)
- Not up to par with your efficiency (conversion ratios aren’t the same, average size deal isn’t the same, you’re not getting the leads you used to)
- Taking longer to get sales closed
- Running out of time at the end of the week to get your prospecting done
Those are just a few of the symptoms observed by me, my staff and the many companies we work with when attempting to get our heads and arms around driving sales growth. I have discovered that there are 2 “MUST TAKE” steps to address this; but, first…
I’m shooting in my first ever National Field Archery Association Indoor Nationals Tournament. My brother, Michael, and his wife, Gwen, owners of Insight Archery in Binghamton, New York, have participated in this tournament for years. This year, it is in Cincinnati, so I thought I’d enter. The first round is today.
Yesterday, we went to the Duke Energy Center where the tournament is being held. We registered, stored our bow cases and made our way to the practice venue. I’ve been practicing some, but not enough, in the basement of my house. My wife, Linda, is not thrilled with this, but I'm a pretty good shooter and honestly, there is very little down there for me to damage.
The range I have in my home is about 11.5 yards long. The scores I am shooting (25 points per end) are really not a good indicator of how I’m shooting because the distance is too short. The other night I shot a 244 out of a possible 250 and one floor joist when my release strap broke from my wrist and the arrow in the bow got away from me.
Yesterday, we practiced awhile and I realized that the shooting regulation distance – 20 yards – is a WHOLE lot different than the 11.5 yards I’ve been shooting at home. The main problems, of which there are many, are
- I can not see very well out of my right eye due to recent surgery.
- The vision in my left eye isn’t nearly what it used to be.
- Wearing glasses is not an answer because I haven’t figured out how to see around the frame of the glasses.
- I shake a little more than I used to when I get up to about 50 shots because I haven’t had the time to practice to build up my endurance.
- When I shoot by myself, I'm by myself. When you shoot in a tournament, there is someone right behind you and right in front of you creating a heck of a distraction.
When we finished practice, we walked over to another practice range and met up with Hilda, a friend of Mike’s and Gwen’s, who is also shooting in the tournament. Right next to her was an older large gentleman with his bows and arrows… who only had one arm. He’s shooting at the same type of target I am …but minus his right arm.
I’ve seen videos of people doing this and I’ve heard stories about this, but I had never before witnessed it live. He placed the bow (to rest on the stabilizer) on the floor between his knees. He notched his arrow and lifted the bow with his left hand to bring the bow string close to his mouth. He grabbed the release with his teeth and pushed the bow out to full draw with his left hand. He steadied his left arm, sighted slightly with his head and, finally, released the arrow by opening his mouth.
Then and there this article hit me! I realized that the solution to sales success, sales growth and sales results really comes down to 2 basic fundamentals. Sure, the man has skills, strength and stamina to do this, but he has 2 other things that trump everything else:
- No Excuses
You don’t just show up at a tournament and NOT put forth the effort to compete... and then expect to compete.
AND… You don't allow excuses to get in the way of the effort (like I did - see above).
Sir, I don't know who you are. But I hope I see you again today, so I can say hello and let you know what an inspiration you are to me and maybe to anyone else who might read this article.