Personal development for sales Professionals
You've heard this expression before (or any of its iterations:) "You can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy!" So what the heck does that old saying have to do with sales you may ask?
The Person Behind the Sales Professional
There are many sales professionals who feel that they need only improved their critical sales skills in order to improve in their sales careers. They spend time working on prospecting, closing, presentation, rapport building and networking skills, and (some) make a daily decision to always work towards improvement. But when asked what they are doing to improve their personal lives, they often respond "I worry about that when I am not at work. Work is time to focus on work-related skills only."
How wrong they are!
Let's look at an example of two sales professionals; Bill and Jim. Both have been in software sales for around 2 years and both have months when they hit their quotas and months that they struggle to reach their expected revenue numbers. Both Bill and Jim are pulled aside by their respective managers and are told that they need to "pick up their games" and to "deliver expectations on a more consistent basis."
Bill takes his manager's "warning" seriously, and decides to spend at least 30 minutes everyday reading more about his industry, practicing his critical sales skills and building his professional network. Each morning, Bill gets to his office early and plans his day out to make sure that he maximizes his selling time. He makes a point of getting all his paperwork and "busy work" done as quickly (and as thoroughly) as he can so that he can devote more time to sales.
When Bill gets home after a long day of sales-related activities, he is spent. He spends some more time reviewing what sales activities he did well and which he needs to improve on. The last things Bill does before he goes to bed is to review his tomorrow and to begin strategizing how he will approach each of his sales calls.
Jim also took his manager's words to heart and realizes that working on his sales skills alone won't deliver the expected or desired results. He begins to realize that his energy levels often wane by mid-afternoon and he is usually too tired (emotionally and physically) by Friday to give 100% effort to his sales job.
Jim decides to start exercising at least 4 times per week, changes his diet to include a more healthy balance of food and to make sure that he gets enough sleep at night.