The ashtray says you were up all night. (Wilco, A Shot in The Arm).
Why is it the best sales people are often those that do whatever they want when they want? I have worked around some talented sales representatives over the years and what rings true is they are a unique breed.
Often, up all night and still able to produce the sale the next day. The question that comes to mind is at what cost? The sales person is put in a position to entertain and be THAT GUY/GIRL night after night. While the results are monetary it is fleeting. We are still left with ourselves the next day.
What I have learned in sales is everything is immaterial. Your sales yesterday mean nothing today. While this sounds dark it is really the light at the end of the tunnel. It means be true to yourself and the rest will fall into place.
So many salespeople live their lives for others instead of what is right for them. Wilco is an indie band that found a level of fame, but never quite what they WANTED. The lead singer Jeff Tweedy was a challenge to the rest of the band and ultimately it led to their demise.
Similarly, sales reps can be a royal pain to their manager with all of the LOOK AT WHAT I DO DAILY FOR THIS COMPANY. Often, the reality is you have not done much. There is more than just self to winning in sales. It is like winning in Vegas, it comes down to odds, position (geographic in this case), and your individual leader to drive initiatives that make sense for the market served.
So, we must humble ourselves…not easy for anyone in sales who feeds off EGO and AWARDS. Myself included…
Step back and think about what you REALLY do daily to move the ticker. Odds are you not as good as you think. I speak from experience, we are all replaceable. Polish up your skills and work on the long term strategy to be the player you always wanted to be.
To lead is to follow someone. Whether it is historic leaders, a manager you believe has your best interest, or other positive sales reps in your territory. At the end of the day, we all have room to grow and have to remain humble to see and embrace the opportunity.
Today, observe how you spend your time. Again, “the ashtray says you were up all night.” (Wilco, A Shot in the Arm).
The best of the best focus on strategy and long term compounded growth. They are fully committed to the market they serve and tend to be only committed to themselves. Sad but true…collaboration is not in their vocabulary unless they are at the end of their career and checking one more box for the awards banquet send-off. 🙂