Several years ago I worked with some salespeople and brainstormed some ideas to unleash their ambition. We invested a day away from their sales duties to discuss the habits, attitudes, techniques and direction of the top producers. Our goal in this meeting was to zero in on these positive habits and duplicate them throughout the rest of the team. The following list of directives was developed with a team conclusion that these could very well be the secret to ambition.
1. SET GOALS . . . Each of the top performers had goals written on paper and reviewed them on a regular basis. By the end of the day's session, all fifteen had written their month's goals into positive affirmations on 3 x 5 cards and made a commitment to review them several times daily.
2. DEVELOP YOUR WHY . . . The top performers all expressed a love for what they were doing and the positive effect the product had on their customers. We assembled a list of over 50 positive statements about the company, product and profession and later typed and distributed the list to each salesperson to be reviewed in sales meetings throughout the year.
3. REVIEW HABITS . . . We concluded that the salespeople who produced the least had several habits in common that the top producers didn't have. Most hit the snooze button and got up late. The front page of the newspaper was their morning reading. They would often meet a friend or associate mid-day for coffee or sometimes stopped at the mall in the afternoon. They would often partake in a late night during the week at a local "watering hole" making the next day seem a little "sluggish." All of these habits seemed contradictory to success. We decided that each salesperson would review their habits and begin replacing them with more positive, result-oriented ones.
4. BE AWARE OF WHO YOU ASSOCIATE WITH . . . The top performers talked about constantly making new acquaintances and networking with people who shared ideas that helped them become more successful. The less productive salespeople talked about having the same friends they grew up with and going to the same parties and events where most of the conversation centered around complaining and negativity. We concluded that while old friendships are wonderful and important to nurture, stretching ourselves to meet people who can create a mutually beneficial relationship may be a missing link to successful results.
5. HONESTY AND INTEGRITY . . . It was evident that the top producers held themselves accountable. Their calendars were full of appointments and their sales reports and orders were all up to date. They didn't allow themselves the luxury of excuses and didn't promise their customers something they couldn't deliver. Again, these traits were exactly opposite to those of the other 11 salespeople. We discussed that this may very well be the most difficult of the five steps. It means looking in the mirror every morning and asking, "Am I giving my best?" and then answering honestly.
It doesn't matter if a person is in sales, production, service, management, or trying to be a good parent, following the above steps can remove the obstacle that lack of ambition adds to your success journey. How did it affect the sales team mentioned above? Collectively they produced 58% more per client than the year before. Remember, if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you've got. What could unleashing your ambition do for you?