Different salespeople flourish or flunk in different selling environments.
The universal law about salespeople is that one will always outperform the other. This law remains undefeated to this day and will continue to be true until the end of time.
Try as you might, there is, and never will be, any such thing as equal results among two or more salespeople. One will always outperform the other. Always!
Knowing this maxim is forever locked in place, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “How do we use this law to flourish?”
The word “flourish” means to grow, or develop, in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as a result of being in a favorable environment.
Stuck In Gainesville
The first teaching job my Dad took after graduating from college was in Gainesville, MO.
I had just turned 13, going into the 8th grade, when we moved into that little town of around 600 people in the early 80’s.
I’ll tell you more later, but I had a really hard time fitting in being the new kid from the city. Everybody knew everybody and I knew nobody. It was tough, real tough. It was tough on my folks because they knew how bad I was struggling. I was the wrong kid, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
My Dad didn’t have a lot of job choices after graduation. I don’t blame him for moving us to Gainesville because that experience helped make me what I am today. However, when you put a kid in a tough spot, where it’s easy to flunk out and fail, it’s hard for any kid to win in that environment.
Salespeople are like that, too.
If you’re an owner of a small roofing company, and all you have is you selling, all you have to sell are the environments where you’re most likely to sell. You can’t afford to invest your time selling where you’re least likely to make a sale. You have to make a sale or you go out of business.
There’s no time for messing around or chasing many of those dream jobs. You need cash in the bank today, no later than this weekend, and that means you’re forced to focus on the prospects you’re most likely to close. Likewise, you’re going to walk away from your most difficult prospects because there’s only so many hours in the day.
Maybe you don’t do well in with certain types of people. That’s okay. We all have people and places where things are difficult. They key is to quickly identify where you struggle and move on to where you don’t. You don’t want to be the wrong salesperson, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
A one-man company can flourish by focusing exclusively on all the places where they’re most likely to sell while ignoring all others.
Sales Team Advantage
However, when you have a team of salespeople selling for you, you have the advantage of every member finding their own level in the field.
You, as an owner or a sales manager, may not be able to close a certain type of prospect, but somebody on your team seems to thrive on this segment of your market. Every team member has a different personality, and every personality works better with some prospects more than others.
Obviously, there is overlap in selling environments where two or more salespeople can sell, but remember, the resulting output will never be completely equal. One will always outperform the other. As an owner or sales manager, the highest use of your time is to help discover, develop and deploy each salesperson to the field where they’re most likely to flourish.
All the members of a sales team can flourish by focusing exclusively on all the places where they individually are most likely to sell while ignoring all others.
At the end of my 8th-grade year in Gainesville, my parents sent my brother and me to live with my Grandparents in Edina, MN for the summer — a suburb of Minneapolis — in the land of 10,000
mosquitoes lakes. They knew we needed a break and my Dad wanted to focus on finding a new teaching job so we could start over in a better place by the next school year.
That summer with my Grandparents was my favorite summer ever growing up. We made a ton of friends and did so many fun things (e.g. beach, summer camp, rafting, amusement parks, etc.) My Grandparents gave my brother and I every opportunity to flourish and forget the prior year. At the end of the summer, my Dad did land a new job, in a new town, and it was so much better.
If your life isn’t working for you where you’re at, you’re not a tree, you can move.
The same is true of sales: You’re not a tree, you can always move.
P.S. When you get the environment right, so many other things naturally fall into place and begin to flourish. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed in sales, or at life when you position yourself in the right place at the right time with the right product or service.