Have you ever attempted to coach first and second grade boys basketball? It is a lot like herding cats. I am enjoying the experience of helping coach my son Andrew’s Upward Basketball team. We are known as the Minutemen. I have learned a great deal through this experience. A great deal about discipline. Why? Because starting out, we had none. We only have one game left in our season…and we still have very little discipline.
It is amazing. As coaches, we will tell them one thing in the huddle and in less than two minutes it has seeped out of their brains and they are performing on pure emotion running up and down the court like a bunch of hyenas who just ate a chocolate bar full of sugar. Sometimes, I feel that they have the memory of a gnat.
Now, part of that is about being a young boy, but if this energy isn’t harnessed it could mean disaster down the road for their lives. Even though they have been very successful from a scoreboard perspective, we as coaches believed it was vital to put in place a focused, mandatory, disciplined set of rules.
Since the day we implemented our disciplined rules of engagement, we have seen a marked improvement in their behavior, communication, and future success. I say future success because discipline doesn’t always create immediate success on the basketball court…or on the court of life. But, we believe it is imperative to shape these boys for lifetime success, not just immediate, temporary success.
The same is true with your career in the world of selling. Undisciplined sales professionals have starving wallets. So, today I have for you a game plan for disciplined selling. If acted upon consistently, I am convinced you will see future success. Again, there is that word future. We don’t like the word “future.” We much prefer the word “now”. Unfortunately, the word “now” is all about comfort. The true champions of sales, and basketball, put aside the comfort of now and focus on the habits of now that create the success of the future.
The first element of our disciplined selling is that of Commitment. Commitment is success. It was Andrew Carnegie who said, “The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.” You have to make a decision right now before you read another word. Ok, read these next couple of sentences and then stop and make your decision. Are you committed to this career path called selling? Are you committed to the company you work for? Are you committed and passionate about your product or service? If you can’t answer all of those questions with a resounding “yes,” then stop reading right now and figure out what you can say “yes” to.
The second element in our game plan of disciplined selling is to be an Early Riser. Yes, I hate it too, but the verdict is out. The ones who are successful are usually the ones who are up first, many times even before the sun gets out of bed. As I began writing this article this morning, it was dark outside. The kids were still in bed and my wife was in the bathroom getting dressed. Tomorrow morning, set your alarm clock for…early. Form this habit and much of the rest will take care of itself.
The third element is to Read & Listen to books and audiobooks on Sales Success. In fact, early in the morning is a great time to do this. Hey, you are going to be up anyway.
Research shows that if you read (or listen) to just one sales book a month, that in five years you will be in the top 5% of sales professionals in the world in terms of selling knowledge. Now, knowledge is not enough. We have all heard that “knowledge is power.” That is a bunch of garbage. Knowledge will give you nothing but frustration unless you take action on it. That is the key. Put into action the selling philosophies and strategies that you learn during your reading and listening.
And, our fourth and last element for disciplined selling is Continual Prospecting & Setting Appointments. I don’t care how good you are, if you don’t have anyone to sell to, then you aren’t going to be successful. Many sales professionals hate to prospect, but it is arguably the most important part of the sales process. Get on a disciplined schedule of setting appointments. I am going to go out on a limb here. If you will double your time in front of people who can buy…you might just double your income. Isn’t this clever stuff?
I would now like to invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/markbowser. Also, check out my book Three Pillars of Success now in Amazon Kindle ebook format at http://www.amazon.com/Three-Pillars-of-Success-ebook/dp/B007BKQTG6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1329858498&sr=8-3.