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Lessons Learned from the Tortoise and the Hare

By Frank Costantino, Managing Partner

“The salesman of quality is forever consistent. He’s solid. He sets the pattern for the entire sales force. His performance is of importance in establishing sales policy. Every salesman is judged by the standards he sets. The consistent salesman endures and prospers wherever he may be.

-There’s Science in Selling, Robert Palmer Corp., 1959

OK, I apologize for the politically incorrect, "he" and "man," but it’s 1959. How about a different analysis: the tortoise and the hare? Just look at that hare: perfect specimen; low body fat; fun to be around; energetic; can’t lose attitude. Well, you know the rest of the story…

In every profession there are those front-runners who put on spurts of brilliancy, but then…nothing! We can’t count on them. We know that there is something about them (their work habits, their approach) that makes us want to bet on the consistent, steady, methodical tortoise.

As an Executive Sales Leader, do you recognize your role, have the tools and demonstrate the necessary behaviors to drive consistency across your organization?

It isn’t difficult to be consistent; however, there are key ingredients that must be maintained to be successful.

  • Diagnosis – How long has it been since you took an outside looking in view of your organization? An honest assessment of client acquisition and retention process. Are you keeping pace with the rapidly occurring changes in the marketplace? Buyers are entering the sales process much later and have become less dependent on sales people to influence their buying decision.

  • Training – Although I took you back to 1959, please tell me that you have and continue to update your training initiatives, again to keep pace AND to keep the good people that you have hired. Start with your on-boarding of new sales people. Are you creating a learning environment clearly demonstrating your commitment to develop talent?

  • Tools – Consistency could be described as simply stating; this is how we do things around here! Specific processes for: Pre-call planning; Client discovery, Strategic selling; Sentiment analysis; Client retention and Quarterly business reviews. What is your data-gathering tool/process?Are you getting the most effective data from CRM and social media?

  • Repetition – This is how we do things around here! Not once, not twice, but all of the time. Spurts of brilliancy are interesting, but that’s not covered in our play book. Do we let our process slide because our QB is Peyton Manning? NO! How do you think he got to be Peyton Manning!

  • Opt In Culture –As the sales leader, you must carry this message, not only to your teams, but also to executive management. This is how we do things around here.No one gets a pass on the process; not your sales people, not you, not your CEO.

Bottom-line: Consistency and your commitment to consistency works. It pays dividends. It sets you apart from your competition. It positions you and your team to be dependable producers, realizing far better results that directly influence your balance sheet. It is EXACTLY what the Hare lacked!

This is what we do at Butler Street. Our core business is helping our clients develop these tools and processes to yield financial results. By the way, it is working for us and we would be glad to share our story with you. Please click the CONTACT button and let’s start a conversation.

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