Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Are you a Quitter and Don't Know it?

     Are you a quitter but just don't know it?  We all know individuals or have been faced with this same decision during our lives.  No matter what the outcome, we made a decision to give up, cut loose or not go in that direction anymore.  Dave Evans the CEO of Evans Consulting Enterprise, LLC always says “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”.
Nobody likes to think of themselves as a quitter but statistics would seem to indicate that many sales consultants or customer service workers tend to quit far too soon and far too easily.  Andrew Cochran Vice President of Operations said in a lunch meeting during the Annual Kick Off Breakfast for Evans Consulting Enterprise, LLC  "It's always too soon to quit," and he shared the following:
  • only 10% of people actually succeed at what they set out to accomplish
  • another 10% accept defeat and try to resolve these feelings by turning to various obsessions
  • finally, 80% of the population simply endure their frustration and blame their lack of success on circumstances
     While not referring specifically to sales consultants, Mr. Cochran's words and statistics are probably not that far off the mark.  The percentage of exceptional and truly unexceptional sales consultants/customer service workers is proportionately small, while the vast majority sit somewhere in the middle. 

     Being in the middle of the pack does not constitute failure but it does beg the question, why aren't more sales consultants or customer service workers exceptional?

     Our take on the issue is that the number one reason why people do not achieve higher levels of success is because they quit too soon.  By quitting we don't necessarily mean throwing in the towel.  We mean giving up on actions that lead to success.  We mean stopping short or folding too soon.  For instance,  instead of 75 dials a sales consultant might quit at 60; instead of reaching 10 decision makers for the day, they settle on 5;  instead of taking a half hour to gain new product knowledge on a make/model, they would rather spend the time talking about unproductive things with co-workers.

Why do Sales Consultants/Customer Service Workers Quit?

First, it's easy to quit; there's nothing complex about it.  The sales consultant/customer service employee simply stops the effort when all that was required was a little perseverance and by practicing “Mastering The Basics”.

Second, quitting is rewarding. Yes, rewarding!  When a sales consultant/customer service worker ceases an activity (such as follow-up or by not listening to guests) the frustration or rejection stops immediately. 

Third, there is no immediate consequence.  Quitting a task is very personal, silent and unseen and there is no immediate reprimand.

Fourth, taking action means change and change is uncomfortable even if it is good for the sales consultant.  Many sales consultants take the path of least resistance and quit at this stage instead of enduring the short period of discomfort for long-term gain.

Finally, what any seasoned leader/coach/trainer/educator knows is that many people quit simply because they don't know how to take decisive action to change their circumstance
Some Decisive Ways To Take Action and Not Quit
If you sit in the middle of the pack and suspect you might be "quitting" on yourself by entertaining the idea of a leaving your current position or a making a career change, here are a few decisive ways you can take action, avoid quitting and succeed in commissioned or customer-centered sales.

Ask Yourself This Question
Ask yourself, "Is this what I want to do right now in my career?"  If it isn't, if you are working in a position out of desperation and hate it, get out!  This is the legitimate time to quit.  Many individuals get into sales telling themselves that I will do this until my REAL OPPORTUNITY comes my way.  Here is what I know; if your heart's not into it you won't have the motivation required for success.  But if you think you can do it, then give it your best shot and continue reading.  “If you think you can, or think you can’t, either way you’re right”

Shut up and Take Responsibility Now
Stop being a victim.  Victims give up.  Stop the irresistible temptation to whine, lament and excuse your behavior.  Don’t blame your manager, your store, the BDC, prices, product mix and/or the economy for your less than stellar results.  Look in the mirror and say to yourself - "Self, things aren't going so well, what am I going to do about it?" This question puts the onus on YOU and no one else to take responsibility for your success. 

 Avoid the Quitters
Avoid co-workers who are nothing more than walking, breathing, toxic, cancer breeders who drag you down with negative talk; those who look to justify their mediocre results by pointing fingers at others or at circumstances. Misery loves company.  They'll infect you with their negativity and they'll persuade you to quit on hard work or smart work by offering reasons not to push harder.  What you need to realize is that they perceive you as a threat if you out perform them.  Don’t fall into the trap.

 Learn from Winners
Get to know, work and hang out with the winners in the store, the top producers; the best of the best. “Step around your ego”.   Ask them questions.  Learn.  Observe.  Absorb.  You'll see they do the extras here and there.  Copy them.  Winners don't quit - they finish the task.  If you have ever played or viewed a team sport you have heard the words that “Winning is Contagious” - get infected!

 Work a Half Hour Longer
Come in 30 minutes earlier or stay 30 minutes longer each day.  Pick up additional sales from another department that opens before the sales department or work on your CRM, product training or creative communication with guests, clients or customers or create a community prospecting plan.  What a novel idea!  An extra half hour a day amounts to only 2.5 hours per week, but that means 10 hours per month or 120 hours a year.  Imagine the dials, connects, visits, presentations and more importantly the sales you will make with an extra 15 days a year?  Too tough?  Start with 15 minutes more a day and you'll still get incremental results.

 Find a Cheerleader, a Coach and a Conscience
Whether it's your manager, a peer, a mentor, a friend, a spouse or significant other, find someone to act as a cheerleader, a coach and above all a conscience.  Share with them your daily targets and report the results to them every day. They'll give you high fives, they'll give you advice or encouragement or they'll give you a little frown. Whatever the case, you win.

1 comment:

  1. I have been in the car sales team for quite a while and I know that sometimes it gets to frustrating. Quitting will get you nowhere, mind you. You can also find interesting information by visiting my site at