Habits
In our continued discussion on the Seven Deadly Sins of Salespeople, I wanted to
discuss a big sin: Habits; specifically, bad habits. When I speak of the bad
habits of sales people, I will speak to three specific bad habits which I have
seen consistently over my 26+ years in sales and sales management. Those three
bad habits are: 1. Water cooler mentality, 2. Half throttle effort, and 3. Lack
of focus

The Water Cooler Mentality
I see this often at networking meetings where someone who is not experiencing
the results they want searches out an acquaintance. Upon finding this
acquaintance, they send up a trial balloon which looks like this: “Boy business
is dead lately, how are things with you?” They bait the other person into this
unproductive pattern of conversation. The water cooler at the office has been
noted as the black hole of productivity. When you participate in trying to seek
out someone else to focus on bad results, you end up (believe it or not) getting
more of those bad results. Rarely do these folks focus on the solutions, but are
spending their time on the problems.

Half throttle effort
Selling generally is a numbers game. If you improve your abilities, the numbers
improve. Further if you increase your actions, the numbers greatly improve. I
see salespeople who drive their sales career with one foot on the gas and one
foot on the brake. They get either emotionally unfocused or they are lazy. By
not putting in their best effort, this provides less than stellar results. This
problem many times is a sales management issue in that when performance is not
measured and reported in the frame of mind of what most people expect the
salesperson to do. There is a myth that salespeople are motivated by money. This
is true with 3-5% of salespeople, but the overwhelming majority are not
motivated by money and need to have standards that they report on. These
standards will help to avoid salespeople who drive their career with the brakes
on.

Lack of Focus
With all of the new found media, internet, FaceBook, etc… it becomes very easy
to become distracted. Managing your distractions and maintaining your focus can
be a more than full time job. Further, your clients emergencies seem to have top
priority. The key in a lack of focus is first having a target. I once polled a
room of 150 wedding professionals and asked by show of hands how many of them
had a written goal for both how many weddings they wanted to do that year and at
what average price for those weddings. Less than 10% of the room raised their
hands. The next question was more telling. Out of those 10% how many would be
willing to be put on the spot to stand and state those goals. All but 2 hands
went down. Fact is we many times do not want to set a goal because we get
discouraged when we do not hit that goal. It becomes necessary that we have
reasonable goals that are written, achievable and memorized.

Overcoming these habits is not a life long journey. it is a conscious decision
each and every day. When we overcome these habits, our businesses and sales will
increase. Period.

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