Avoiding A March To Sales Mediocrity

Mediocrity is an achievement as well as a failure. You have to want to be mediocre.

The single biggest threat to commerce is a culture where workers decide to do just enough to get by, subsisting upon the idea that good is good enough, instead of trying to get better.

This is a phenomenon that happens around everyone, even when it comes to people helping sales representatives with their jobs yet finding lackluster results on the sales rep’s behalf.

Technology Can Make Mediocrity

Personally I’ve experienced the trend on a daily or weekly basis, especially with vendor business contacts. A majority of the time, it’s not even with a lead that generates any money or benefit to me. But when passed along, the result is apathy from the vendor over the best way to attack a prospect. If this isn’t mediocrity, I don’t know what is.

An example:

A colleague in the sports industry reaches out to me seeking help on locating a vendor to fulfill a need. They have the budget in place, they just don’t know who to contact. And usually, the timeline from bid to sale is much shorter, and when my colleagues ask for me I always try to provide them with it.

And this is the point where I end up evaluating whether I throw business toward a vendor in the future. Some of them may have a relationship established with me, others may just be casual acquaintance looking to develop some business. There is an encroachment process to the entire referential sale skill, and a time expiration to being able to connect based on an e-mail or phone call between a prospect and a vendor through a third party.

Waiting When You Should Be Jumping

Yet, I always get the feeling that some vendors don’t take it seriously, thus losing a true chance at the sale.

“Yeah, I’ll reach out this week.”

“Okay, I’ll give them a call at some point. I’ll put them on my list.”

“Well, we’ve got some things going right now, but I’ll shoot them an e-mail.”

This is what I refer to as a lack of getting better by the vendor’s sales development team.

It’s like each of these businesses should hear how their reps react when learning that a lead is sitting there, waiting to be attacked, and how those reps respond.

And It’s Across The Board

I’ve listened to various vendors in different industries tell me how they cannot do this or cannot do that. But yet, if I present them with an easy solution to attack customers, they’ll nod, smile, and do nothing. Even when they do eventually do something, they’ll be so afraid of including me (for fear that “the boss won’t like it”) and the original vision of the idea will have dropped completely. Another mediocrity march commences.

We are living in a stagnant age, where people only offer ‘good enough’ as an output, because they know that they could be fired at any moment by a company that doesn’t generally care about them long-term. As much as they’ll provide lip service otherwise, most people aren’t thinking that they’ll last 25-30 years at the company and draw out a retirement. Therefore, the passion for that specific position, at that specific company, has dropped considerably.

troy kirby

Troy Kirby is the creator of the Sports Sales Boot Camp. He will host the 2016 Sports Sales Boot Camp at ALSD in Pittsburgh.

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