“Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims.”
Carlos Santana

New Year… New exercise plan, new diet, and new sales plans. The New Year is also a time to break bad habits.

Habits, they’re behaviors that impact the decisions we make about how to spend our time, our sales activities and resources.

Think of sales habits in the same way. You accumulate experiences and knowledge over time which influences your outlook as well as your ability to effectively manage what you do on a daily basis.

From the most tenured sales reps to the sales newbies, recognizing what’s a good versus bad habit, is the first crucial step in understanding why you do certain things while avoiding others (like prospecting).

“Poor performance is due to bad habits”

Let’s peel this one back a bit, lack of productivity and personal accountability is rooted in bad sales habits. What constitutes bad sales habits? At what point do they begin sabotaging productivity, performance and more importantly, pipeline?

3 THINGS SALES REPS MUST DITCH IMMEDIATELY

In my last blog, 3 Things Sales Reps Need to Do To Help Smash Their Sales In 2019, I encouraged salespeople to get back to the basics. Applying the basics in 2019, will allow ordinary sales reps to do extraordinary things.

I urge all those in sales to become serious about your work and put in the time it takes to become a true sales professional.

Ditch these bad habits in 2019…

EXCUSES

I believe committing to excellence is the key to unlocking your sales success.

I’m concerned with the current state of the sales profession. What I’m seeing develop is a lack of commitment to excellence. A culture of excuses and finger-pointing has replaced hard work, grit, and determination.

Salespeople use excuses to rationalize their actions regarding their circumstances, their actions toward other people (their managers), and regarding certain events (why they didn’t hit quota). However, excuses are pure crap and often the primary reasons why salespeople are unable to accomplish what they need to in order to succeed.

In order to smash your sales targets at the end of 2019, you must take personal responsibility. You must hold yourself accountable to YOU! It’s no one else’s responsibility to help you get to where you need to be; it’s yours and yours alone. This means that if you have a crappy month and fail to meet your plan, it’s not your manager’s fault, your customers’ fault, or your prospects’ fault—it’s your fault! You have to suck it up, self-reflect, buckle down, and get to work. Look at yourself in the mirror and commit to getting better. Stop making freaking excuses!

“Stop excusing your failures or your procrastination and start taking the steps necessary to become a sales professional”

FEAR

The success you have in 2019 will depend greatly on your sales skills. Everything from profitable sales transactions to how well you retain your clients relies on your ability to sell.

What concerns me is many in sales aren’t confident in their sales skills. Whose fault is that? I say lack of practice, preparation and planning has something to do with a low skill set.

With confidence and based on observation, it’s no surprise that many tenured sales reps who aren’t sales professionals are nervous, afraid, and hesitant to do anything relevant to improving their sales skill set. Why? Fear of being exposed! Yes, I said it!

“Admitting ones weakness is no easy call”

Have the courage to become vulnerable to help overcome your fears. Vulnerability will set you free.

“Fear of being exposed will keep you in a state of complacency”

You all have strengths and becoming vulnerable won’t kill you because you know you are still a strong person.

Set aside the fear, become a bit vulnerable…

  • Ask for help
  • Admit to yourself that you don’t know everything
  • Embrace the chaos in your mind

EGO

Sales professionals check their ego at the door. Media and the movies portray salespeople as egomaniacs with slick-backed hair and a “do whatever it takes to close the sale” mentality. Doesn’t this remind you of Glengarry Glen Ross? While there’s always some truth to stereotypes, the biggest exceptions to the rule lie within ourselves.

Ego plays a huge role in a sales professionals success but it can also hinder one from sales growth.

In today’s highly connected, digitally driven and socially empowered business world; highly assertive, a know-it-all mentality combined with super-charged egos will be the kiss of sales death.

“A huge ego is a sales growth buzz-kill”

Top performing sales professionals, the true superstars – sell from the heart, are the open-minded, curious, collaborative, vulnerable, open to learning and aim for partnerships when working with their clients. These sales professionals have humility and operate without any deception whatsoever. This is a direct conflict to the behavior of ego-driven salespeople.

YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF

What would happen if you got rid of the excuses, overcame your fears and squashed your ego? How would this change your sales results? How would this help you in prospecting for new business or enhancing your client relationships?

Don’t allow excuses, fear and ego to prevent you from being the best version of YOU. This is no long-term strategy for success.

This will only end in sales tears. Crying in sales can be prevented. It starts with giving a rip about yourself and your career. Why is this important? You owe it your employer and more importantly your family.

“There’s no crying in baseball and crying in sales can be prevented”

Larry Levine

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