“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
That’s one my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill.
It says it all about the challenges of being in sales.
You can’t win them all. Hot streaks don’t last forever. Nor do your dry spells. If you’ve been in sales for any period of time, you’ll hit a rough patch. It won’t last forever either. It’s about having the courage to keep going.
Sales is unforgiving. It doesn’t matter how well you do this month. Or this year. The meter is reset to Zero next month. Or next year. And, you have to do it all over again.
Here’s the hard part. The definition of success almost always changes going forward.
To maintain your current level of performance, let alone meet raised expectations, you will have to become smarter, better, faster than you are now.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will encounter failure in sales. It’s what you do in the face of that failure that matters.
Do you learn from your failures? More importantly, do you learn from your successes?
Have you become complacent with success? Do you play it safe? Satisfied with what you have? Or, do you take the risk to shake things up?
To me, this is where the courage enters the equation.
When you’ve experienced success, what are you prepared to risk to ensure that you continue to win?
Another of of my favorite quotes is “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” That’s from Italian playwright Guiseppe Lampedusa.
Think about that for a minute. It doesn’t matter how good you are today, the world around you is rapidly changing. You have the mandate change with it. Or be left behind.
For you to maintain the level of sales achievement you enjoy today, you have to enable yourself to be even better tomorrow.
Let’s say you achieved 100% of quota this year. Well, that 100% may be only 90% of quota next year. That’s nearly a 12% increase. So, if you want to achieve 100% of quota next year, what changes are you going to make, to enable yourself to become 12% more productive?
This improvement won’t occur by accident. And, it won’t happen just by resolving to roll up your sleeves and work harder. You have to make a conscious effort to take deliberate steps to enable yourself to become more proficient each successive year.
Instead of sales enablement, think this in terms of about self-enablement. In addition to what you’ve learned through your experience, and from whatever training you receive, how are you enabling your future performance? How much of your time and effort are you prepared to invest even more of your time, effort and money (or is it blood, sweat and tears?) in your personal development.
Final thought. I want to leave you with one more quote. This time from legendary business thinker, Jim Rohn. He said “Income seldom exceeds personal development.”
For you, as a seller, I’d modify that to say that income seldom exceeds self enablement.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.