First we form habits, then they form us
I CAME ACROSS the concept of "getting bigger than your job" many years ago. It's a simple concept really. The theory is no one gets promoted per se; a person just gets bigger than his job. Are you frustrated because no one appreciates all your efforts? Have you been passed over for promotion? Do you feel stuck? Maybe there is a reason.
A friend of mine who is a world-class salesperson told me over breakfast that in his first year he was almost fired for being such a bad salesperson. He smiled as he recalled how naïve and green he was. "Dumber than a bag of hammers" was the phrase I recall.
"I didn't deserve a raise or a promotion. I was working hard but not producing. I equated hours logged as the measure of my success. It was a poor measure. Results were the name of the game. I simply wasn't producing."
Then he went to work on his own personal development. He took responsibility for his own career.
Fix the following question in your mind: Do you want more KASH? It's an acronym. It stands for:
K = Knowledge
A = Attitude
S = Skills
H = Habits
If you want to earn more money, go to work on these four disciplines and watch the opportunity for more responsibility laid upon your doorstep. Let's take one at a time.
Is it power? No, knowledge is potential power. Applied knowledge is power. How well do you know your company's products and services? Would you say you are an expert in your company? In your industry? I listened to a Brian Tracy audiotape years ago, and he suggested that if you are in sales to read at least 30 to 60 minutes each morning in a sales book. So I did.
I started with 20 minutes. An idea emerged from the reading the fifth day. I applied it, and what do you know? I closed a sale. I got excited. I kicked it up to 45 minutes each morning. Sales started to flow like water.
I woke up 90 minutes earlier just to read. Within 90 days, I was 250% of the sales plan. Read books, listen to CDs while you drive, read trade magazines in your industry. Become an expert. It won't take long. In less than six months you will be the expert in your company; in year, an expert in your region; in five years, in the country.
How is yours? Your attitude is a choice you make each day. Be honest and ask yourself, is your attitude:
- Optimistic or pessimistic?
- Grateful or cynical?
- Expectant or negative?
- Service focused or entitled?
- Extra-mile focused or doing the minimum?
- Abundant or lacking?
Let's stay with our sales analogy. Any job usually has six core competencies. If you conducted an honest assessment of your current skills, on a scale of 1-10, how do you measure up?
In sales training, I teach that the following six disciplines are central to sales success. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for each one:
___ Prospecting and planning (who and how);
___ Qualifying (asking great questions and active listening skills);
___ Proposal writing (writing skills and creativity);
___ Closing skills (a choice of yes's and asking);
___ Service after the sale (delivering more than promised);
___ Marketing and referral generation (gravity marketing).
How do you stack up? If you have any doubt, sit down with your boss or sales manager and ask for objective and honest feedback. Then go to work on your skills. Get a mentor. Keep a journal. Read, study, evaluate and grow.
First we form habits, then they form us. In sales it's forming the habit of doing the things most salespeople don't like to do. Calling on people who don't want to see you and talk about things they would rather not discuss.
- The habit of persistence.
- The habit of resilience.
- The habit of study.
- The habit of going the extra mile.
- The habit of delivering more than you promised.
- The habit of planning each day, week, month, quarter, year.
- The habit of smiling.
- The habit of asking for what you want creatively, consistently, professionally.
Life and business don't just happen, they happen just. It's a fair and ordered universe in which we live and work. Get bigger than your job. When you notice that you have, everyone else will have known for a while. Results are the name of the game.
If you remember KASH, you can toss that bag of hammers and assume more responsibility. The money will follow.