You can't fake excellence.
With the EcSell Institute's next Sales Coaching Summit right around the corner April 4-6th, I was reminded recently how deeply profound and impactful the many speakers we've partnered with over the years were not only while at Summit, but also going forward way beyond those few days spent at Summit.
The presentation that Dr. Bret Simmons shared with us on excellence almost two years ago is a good example of how impactful just one presentation can be. He spoke to us in regards to encouraging and achieving excellence--what is our role and what is our organization's role? The notes from that experience are some that I still review on a time-to-time basis and inspired my blog this week. The following is what I learned and what I've carried forward with me of how to pursue and strive for excellence on an on-going basis:
Working to achieve excellence: The first important area to consider is are you working in an environment that encourages excellence? Not just excellence in it's final state...the finish line. But, instead the process of excellence. This means that every once in awhile we fail, we fall down, we don't get it right. Are you surrounding yourself with coaches, and coaching your own sales team with the attitude of coaching to excellence in performance? If not, you may not feel comfortable to take the necessary risks in order to push yourself to achieve a higher degree of excellence in the workplace.
Tip #2 to achieve excellence: Second, do you believe that people want to make a difference in the eyes of their customer? If so, you must do things that ego-centric people do not in order to achieve excellence. To truly understand your customer is to understand their purpose. In order to understand a client's purpose, you first need to ask a question that allows the customer to explain their purpose...why their work matters to them. Your role as a leader then is to facilitate and enable how to connect the customer's purpose with what you offer. Once you determine the motivator, the next task is to diminish the inhibitors to success. The excellence factor that you need to master as a sales leader is to be in touch with what your own purpose as well. When you are able to align your own purpose with that of the customers, it is much easier to communicate and understand how it relates to your purpose for others as well. Your purpose effects both your time line and your bottom line. It should be always your expectation that you make a difference in the lives of your customers.
What is individual excellence? What is it? How do you get it? An important question to be asked and answered. Be present. Turn off your cell phone, your notifiers your alerts; make a choice between being engaged vs multi-tasking. Bring your head and your heart to work by giving your full attention to your customers when you are spending time with them. Be resilient. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared to know how to deal with stress. Be mindful of constantly raising the bar to in order to chase perfection and the attitude of wisdom. Be courageous. Fear is always present when we veer out of personal comfort zone in an effort to attain excellence.
What is organizational excellence? What is it? How do you get it? Organizational excellence could be described as: the sum of collective or individual excellence that includes a focus toward a common goal. Facilitating an attitude of constant learning helps achieve organizational excellence for sales leadership, professional growth and development is directly related to how best to compete in the market. Your core performance technology is the ability to learn. Make sure you are always coaching your team to find learning opportunities. Knowing where your knowledge gap is or where your team member's gap is and finding a way to fill that gap with education is key. Education is what you do FOR people...learning is something we do for ourselves.
How do we make excellence the new norm? It requires a fundamental shift in behaviors. When we think of different types of performers whether low, average or high, it's important to remember that you need to learn how to shift the average. It happens purposefully by changing the way you hire, the way you coach the way you promote.
What does it take to achieve success in your career? First, be bold in authoring your own description of success through excellence, how you define it, how you work toward it and finally knowing all that realizing when you've reached it or likewise when you've missed the mark.
Behaviors you should scale: scaling excellence is ground war not an air war. It's going to take time, maybe even more time than you thought it would take. You go in with a certain set of tactics and then when we start to implement we learn that it's different than we thought it would be. If you want to build an excellent organization you take ownership to the success, both short-term and long term. Accountability starts with a hard look in the mirror. Always start with the assessment of your own performance. Then, when you look at others you look for solutions rather than blame. It's important to not look the other way when it matters to your team. If you are not a trusted source of information, your leadership is not impactful.
The journey to excellence is just that, a journey. Part of the fun is the journey itself. We can never really cross the finish line to perfection of excellence, but the effort itself is bound to pay off!
I cannot wait to learn from the incredible speakers that we have lined up for 2016's Sales Coaching Summit in Las Vegas, NV at the beautiful Venetian Hotel, April 4th-6th. Click on the links below to learn more-we hope to see you there!
For more resources regarding excellence, click on the following links:
- For more information regarding the workof Dr. Bret Simmons, please visit: http://www.bretlsimmons.com/
- or via Twitter at: Excellence matters via @drbret @EcSellinstitute coaching summit #ecsell http://firstname.lastname@example.org