Sharpen your saw and take control of 2019

Posted1/15/2019 1:00 AM

Welcome to 2019 and a resetting of your sales scoreboard to zero. Jan. 1, 2019 was the beginning of a new year full of hopes and dreams, unfortunately, many sales leaders and salespeople have already settled into some extremely unproductive behavior patterns driven by their comfort zones and fears. As astonishing as it sounds, a few have already determined a negative outcome for their year based on the "tea leaves" they are reading today.

There are over 11 months of the new year in front of us and the only thing each of us can rely on is our ability to perform the behavior it takes to succeed. You see, it is the execution of behavior that separates our success from our failure.


After coaching and training many thousands of sales professionals, it's clear that their commitment to perform selling behavior has the single biggest impact on success. When I conduct discovery meetings with prospects, I always ask the following, "Write down the top 10 behaviors you must perform in order to be successful?" Then, "Do you have the guts to actually, consistently perform them?" Their answers range from a muffled NO to a shaky YES. On a side note, most write down 3-5 selling behaviors and then draw a blank.

My mentor, David Sandler, explained success to me this way. He said, "the path of success has three elements that each who travel it must understand. Whether you are trying to lose weight, quit smoking, develop an exercise routine, grow your business or simply be a better salesperson, there are three fundamentals of success: Behavior, Attitude and Technique (BAT)."

Behavior: All successful salespeople share three things in common, 1. They set behavioral goals and develop key performance indicators to measure their level of execution. 2. They realize that goals without plans are really daydreams, so they create strategic and tactical plans to accomplish their goals. 3. They develop a daily routine to execute behaviors that will accomplish the goals. Behavior is the starting point for success while Attitude and Technique each play supporting roles in the process. Ask yourself, "Do I consistently execute the top 10 selling behaviors, even in difficult times?"

Attitude: Your attitude is based in the beliefs you have in yourself, your company and the marketplace, and it's in constant need of reinforcement or your negative selling experiences may drag it down. Make sure you keep your belief system strong with positive affirmations but recognize that successful people perform the appropriate behavior despite the negative voices in their head. (Unless I'm the only one who hears the voices!) Ask yourself, "Do I keep my attitude strong in spite of past business experiences?"

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Technique: We all need to ensure that we have the proper skill set and that we keep it sharp. Business owners, sales leaders and salespeople must invest in themselves through continuous education to hone their skills to stay ahead of the curve. Unfortunately, 80% of salespeople rely on their personality and intuition or outdated sales methodologies to close sales! As we all know, there are fundamental skills that every salesperson is required to have for success. Ask yourself, "Do I have the sales skills that my position requires and am I continuously polishing them?"

Make 2019 your best year ever by committing to improve your BAT-ing average! Take the time before January comes to an end and determine what behavior you have to execute on a daily basis to accomplish your sales or business goals. Check your belief system to make sure it supports the behavior you have to execute. Lastly, "keep the saw sharp" to make sure that you are staying ahead of the learning curve.

Stop talking a good game and commit to living a good game. Ask yourself, "Am I committed to be a high performer or am I bogged down in a comfort zone? The choice is yours!

Go conquer your worlds.

• Bill Bartlett owns Corporate Strategies, A Sandler Training Center. Text "salestip" to 35893 to receive Bill's biweekly newsletter.

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