By Toby Haertl
The sales world is a wonderful place — a place where hard workers are rewarded for their efforts and have complete control over their own destiny. The sales world can also be a horrifying and intimidating place, where a constant stream of competitors tries to purloin every prospect, client or product away from you in an effort to enrich themselves and leave you empty handed.
Sales is a place where go-getters thrive and the hesitant lose. In order to get ahead in one of the most competitive career fields in this economy, I’ve found that two characteristics set you apart and help you build the foundation for a promising sales career.
Shortly after starting my sales career, I noticed a theme: successful co-workers, friends and peers across a number of different fields, but especially in sales, all had one thing in common — a great work ethic.
Work ethic is not necessarily defined by being responsive to instructions and orders, or doing what is expected, like showing up on time or finishing certain tasks in a day. Work ethic to me is defined by the results of your work. Based on integrity, work ethic is what you are able to accomplish without anyone looking over your shoulder. It’s about being diligent and holding yourself accountable.
At the end of every day you should ask yourself, “Did I do everything within my power to produce the best results possible? Have I completed as much as I could today?” If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, you should take off your coat, fire up your computer and finish the job. The peace of mind this process provides will pay off, especially once your deadline arrives and your numbers look stellar.
In an environment defined by constant competition, and where nothing is guaranteed, the only thing to keep your successes coming is self-discipline.
How many times have you had an interested prospect tell you how much they love your product and that they could not wait to find out more? How many times has that same prospect then fallen off the face of the earth when it was time to schedule a demo?
Every prospect is just a prospect until that purchase order is received. To guarantee the best results, a structured plan of calls, emails and other touches is necessary.
But more important than just having this plan is to actually follow it diligently. It’s easy to brush off a “just-checking-in” call when the prospect already seems sold on your product, or to neglect a reminder to send a follow-up email to a prospect you have been in touch with numerous times recently. But these small gaps in interactions might be all that your competitor needs to sneak in and lure that prospect away from you. So fight those urges to not pick up the phone, to go home at 5:30 when there is still work to be done, or to put off sending the last email of the workday. Self-discipline means being responsible and determined.
In a field as competitive as sales, you need many aspects of your sales game to be top notch in order to rise above the competition, none as important as self-discipline and work ethic. Get these right and everything else will fall in line.
If you have self-discipline and a great work ethic, see if an inside sales career at memoryBlue is right for you. Check out what it’s like to work here, see what some of our alumni have done, and then get in touch.