Letter to a sales leader: Think…Show me the Moxie!

How many, “The 8 sales actions you need to take…,” “Top 6 sales best practices…,” “The 5 sales metrics you must have…” and so on have you read?

Let’s be honest. Are there are only so many things to do to become different or successful or better? Is life so simple and someone has figured it out? Who are we kidding! We read these articles because they are there. They don’t do anything for us, there is very little gain and none of our lives will change. Most concerning is that these authors tell you what to think because they assume you looking for some “expert” advice and need to be told what to think. It’s an interesting way to make you read their drivel by putting them in little boxes and pretending sales was this neat and tidy box made up of those 6 things, or 4 things. Is that who salespeople are… gullible slow thinkers, who need to be told to do things?

I’d rather we just be genuine and help ourselves by thinking about the right questions; not the wrong answers in neat little boxes. Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am!” The most important thing any of us should be doing in sales is thinking and asking questions. How many salespeople around you or in your team think? One, two… maybe three?

When you say to yourself or your team, “Show me the money!” you are asking them to show results: not the wrong results but the right ones. You don’t want revenue from bad deals that will cancel in a month. Letter Sales You want good revenue… good results that will stick around and renew! But to know how to produce the right results, salespeople need to think, examine and understand. Do your teams pass this bar?

Perhaps a better way to think about showing the money is stating “Show me the moxie!”: the verve, the spirit and determination to succeed. Moxie equals success. Why? Because America is built on moxie and without it, we wouldn’t be here. Moxie is not something one can learn. It comes from experience, thinking about the experience, changing oneself and being inspired by or inspiring others. How many sales-people in your team show moxie? One, two… maybe three?

The most frustrating part of sales is not the sleepless nights or being at the mercy of customers’ holiday schedules or even making personal sacrifices to pursue one’s numbers. The worst is the wastage and negativity caused by sales-people who have no moxie and no drive to succeed. They are the ones who sell “product”; they are the ones who’ve forgotten about the people we are selling to and the business problem they are trying to solve; they are the bad workmen who blame their tools; they are also the ones who infect their colleagues with cynicism and failures. Perhaps they are the ones who are meant to read the neat “8-little things you must do” articles.

A really talented salesperson succeeds in her work. She is confident, makes use of her abilities and achieves results. She doesn’t fear failure, nor does she fear success. She uses her tools in the right manner, even if they are not excellent. On the other hand, we have badly talented salespersons, the bad workman, Letter Saleswho blames his tools for his failures. Even if given excellent tools, he’d fail to achieve good results. His talents are limited. He finds lame excuses and blames the product or the customer or his boss or his comp plan for his failure to achieve good results. He blames his tools for the bad work he has done. He does not want to admit that he is a bad workman. Even if good opportunities are provided to him, he’d fail to exploit such chances and succeed in life. But if the talented salesperson is given the right opportunity, she’d make use of it to the full, thereby achieving her goal in life. While the former blames the opportunities and people around him for his failure, the latter without complaint utilizes them and succeeds in life.

My plain view is: if you cannot show moxie in sales, you cannot show the money. Let’s stop learning wrong things from people who claim to be “experts”. Let’s not read drivel and learn what to think of people who have never carried a bag or faced a customer or experienced a bad sales month or even know the thrill of closing a deal. Let’s start by straightening out how our sales teams think: like successful people who know how to think, ask the right questions and who will not blame their tools for their failures. So, let’s ask our sales teams to show spirit... show drive… show moxie. Only then can they show the money!

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