I’ve recently become aware that there is an insidious virus running rampant through businesses. Perhaps even your company is infected with it. Read the following scenario and see if it sounds like your place of business.
It’s Monday morning and you’re having your regular “get the week off to a good start” sales meeting. You and your colleagues have gathered around the conference room table talking the owner walks in. After a brief greeting he asks how you did last week in your sales… You share the closed deals as well as the ones that got away. After congratulating you on your successes, your manager then begins to ask questions about the deals that didn’t close and what you might do to improve your selling. He identifies several problem areas that he notices and suggests that you create a plan for overcoming the challenges you faced last week.
Has that ever happened to you?
How did you feel after that meeting?
Were you energized and ready to make this week your best ever or were you feeling a little glum, knowing you had yet another hurdle to jump and another problem to solve?
The virus I mentioned earlier is the “problem–solving” approach to sales management.
So often I see managers spreading the mindset that their team is broken somehow because someone didn’t close a sale. This leads to the assumption that team members must work to fix their problems.
What if you approached it from another standpoint?
Instead of focusing on what went wrong, what if you focused on what went right and then worked to repeat and amplify those things? How would you feel if the conversation with your manager went more like this? “Good morning team! Congratulations on a great week last week! You did some amazing work last week and I’m quite proud of each of you. Would you each, in turn, please share with the team your very best sales experience from last week? Tell us the very best part of your week. Then please tell us what led to that experience happening. From there, we’ll all brainstorm how to repeat that success and spread it throughout the company.” What would it feel like to come out of that meeting? Would you be pumped up and excited to go have another terrific week?
Here is a quick outline of the process.
I call it the “Five Minute Miracle.” Feel free to share it with your manager (he or she is welcome to contact me for more details) or just give a go on your own.
Get out a piece of paper and do the following:
- Write down a description of your absolute best sales experience this past week. It doesn’t have to be a closed sale; your best experience can be a phone call, a meeting or even just an idea you had.
- Dream for a few minutes and think about what your life would feel like and look like if that same thing happened every single week. What would your income and life look like if you repeated that great experience every week? Write down your vision of that life.
- Start thinking of how you created that moment and jot down the things that went into making that special thing happen. What opportunities did you seize, what actions did you take to create that experience?
- List a few things that you can do next week to make that great experience happen yet again. Write out how you can repeat those actions that led to that best sales moment.
Each week, spend a little time doing this exercise. I do mine on Friday afternoon. It takes only five minutes but creates a system in which you constantly repeat and build on all the best things in your work life. You’ll find that you are more energized, more focused and more excited about your job than ever before.
By concentrating on the best and repeating, rather the worst and fixing, you’ll soon soar beyond your past experiences and achieve a whole new level of income and job satisfaction. Isn’t that worth five minutes of your week? When you’ve done this for a few weeks, will you share some of your best stories with me?
PS: For those of you wondering, “how do we ever get around to fixing the problems?”, the answer is simple – when people start focusing on what is right, they will repeat what is right. The problems disappear on their own. Really. Really really. I promise. Try it.