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Are You A Climber Or A Camper?

Remember your first year in sales? There was so much to learn – product knowledge; a customer base; who to call; what to say; don’t take it personally; develop a thick skin; recognise when a prospect is misleading you; how to get past gate-keepers; close the deal; develop confidence – and that’s just the start of the list.

It was a difficult climb up a steep learning curve, wasn’t it? Many don’t survive their first year in sales. Those who do, often feel they’ve ‘made it’. They stop climbing and set up camp.

How do you set up your team to be climbers and avoid a sales force of campers? Climbers will take your business to the next level – so how do we prepare our team to climb?

A career in sales is really a series of climbs, not just one. There’s nothing wrong with camping if you use it to renew your energy and resolve, but don’t stay there for a long time. Some salespeople continue to do the same things they did in their first year of sales over and over again. We call them ‘campers’. You’ll hear them say things like: “I’ve met my quota, I can rest till next month,” or “At my age and stage, where I am is where I’ll be,” or “At least I’m not the worst salesperson in the company.”

Most owners/managers are looking for climbers – salespeople who aren’t satisfied with the status quo, those who have goals and see their jobs as the way to reach those goals. Climbers have two things in common: courage and connectivity. They understand there’s risk involved in progressing in their careers. They have to risk trying new things and experience failure from time to time and change up their techniques for fresh approaches.

And they understand connectivity – the way to progress to greater heights is to get out of their comfort zone and understand the return on investment of learning, reaching out and pushing themselves beyond their narrow belief of what’s possible for themselves, their product/service and their market.

If you’re an owner or manager, the question is: Does your sales culture allow camping or is your sales team programmed for climbing? If you’re a salesperson, the question is: Am I a climber or a camper? If you’re a camper, what can you do to change that? Do you have an environment that provides a training experience where participants come and get acclimated to the next level of the climb?

There are books, CDs, Web sites and courses that will help you on your climb. The question is: what will you do next?

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