Success Begins With Emotional Maturity
Winners in any venture are willing to be held accountable for their own actions and results. High-performing professionals in any industry have no desire to be part of the equation for failure. The success stories in sales are certainly no different.
Organizations grow, proliferate, and expand when they are led by people who possess the emotional maturity to assume responsibility, rise to the level of authority given to them, and then hold themselves accountable for whatever level of success or failure they experience.
Emotional maturity and accountability are essential for success in any career, especially in sales. And that is doubly true for a sales team, which is sometimes a challenge for a sales leader.
How Emotionally Mature Is Your Team?
Your team can self-assess their individual emotional maturity by answering the following questions. However, the Brooks Group’s Emotional Quotient Assessment is an even better indicator for measuring your team’s EQ.
- When a sale is lost, do you blame the customer, your own organization, or other external forces?
- When a prospect fails to appear for an appointment, who do you blame?
- Do you blame your lack of success on unreasonable pricing of your product?
- How often do you blame market conditions, seasonality, or the economy for your lack of success?
- How often do you find yourself doing “busy work” instead of proactive, positive activity?
- How often do you avoid looking at hard, objective sales numbers to gauge your sales success (or lack of it)?
- How well do you work with other members of your sales and support team?
Finding a Scapegoat Is Easy
In sales, it is easy to find scapegoats for our lack of success. They are around us everywhere we look. Here are just a few:
- Delivery people and systems.
- Customer service staff.
- Poor quality.
- Estimators and pricing specialists.
- Unreasonable customers.
- The economy.
- Interest rates.
- Unreasonable quotas.
- Poor pay plans.
The list could go on, but here is the proverbial bottom line: capable, professional salespeople assume full accountability for their successes and failures. They don’t blame others, circumstances, or conditions. Ironically, we often take full responsibility for our successes—yet blame every conceivable external source for our failures.
Affirming Your Way Into Responsibility
Here are six specific powerful affirmations that could help your team if they need to become more accountable for their sales results.
- I assume full responsibility for all of my actions with every prospect or customer.
- I assume full accountability for my sales results—both good and bad.
- I do not blame others, conditions, or circumstances for any lack of success I may have.
- I can compartmentalize my failures, move past them, and concentrate on positive, productive activities.
- I never allow any failure to become a part of my permanent record of feelings, actions, or sense of self-worth.
- I work well with other team members to deliver positive results.
It should be obvious that every salesperson will experience a degree of failure at some point in his or her sales career. Sometimes, an external source may even be to blame. The point here isn’t to have unrealistic expectations, but to cultivate an attitude of being responsible for failure—even if you didn’t cause it.
Doing What’s Right and Being True to Your Word
There was a day when every member of your sales team formally agreed to live up to the expectations for doing their job. Expense reports, marketing requests, paperwork, and the rest are all part of the sales function. Simply refusing to comply with requirements or expectations or having an attitude of “I’ll do it when I get around to it!” are symptoms of emotional immaturity. And sales is one profession where there is no room for it.
Sales professionals must be able to do what is right 100% of the time, not just when superiors, customers, or co-workers are looking. Integrity is the habit of doing what is right when you could get away with doing what is wrong. Emotionally mature sales reps have no issues treating priorities, company property, rules, and expectations professionally. They follow the company’s sales system and comply with expectations and performance standards.
Emotional maturity is also the ability to objectively analyze situations, determine the causes for failure, and then course-correct or learn from the error and move on. This is an important skill so that the salesperson can face the next prospect or customer with a sense of positive expectation. As the anonymous quote reads:
“Success has been defined as the ability to go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” — Anonymous
Leading by Example
Sales managers could teach about emotional maturity and personal responsibility by incorporating EQ training into their sales training. They could also lead by example by working on these qualities in themselves, which will encourage their team members to do the same.
Additionally, be sure to provide resources that will help team members develop their emotional intelligence and personal responsibility skills. This can be implemented through regular feedback and coaching, and goal setting during regular one-on-ones. You can also share real-life scenarios with team members and then discuss how to take responsibility for those situations with emotional maturity.
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