Avoiding sales mistakes and knucklehead land.

Loyal reader Connor dropped me a note about how he enjoyed hearing stories, reasons and evidence for not being another knucklehead while experiencing the monotony, frustration and euphoria of high-level prospecting, and conveying this to other reps. Thanks Connor.

I try to be hard on concepts but kind to people. Why do I refer to reps as knuckleheads?
Two reasons. 1st, it’s kinder than saying a behavior is just plain dumb or stupid, highly unlikely to work.  2nd, very direct, no-nonsense talk spurs people (or should) spur people to reassess their behaviors and choices.

Avoid sales mistakes and time spent in knucklehead land

Over 25 years of sales coaching, it is very obvious to me that those in the top tier of success and those most likely to get there are very open to hearing “that is a terrible idea.” The most successful managers and sales reps and those on a path to get there almost beg to be beaten up. Why? Because they want to avoid missteps, wasting time and money, and shorten their path to realizing their full potential. They know they won’t reach full potential if I do not challenge their thinking.

The most successful are successful because they learned from past mistakes and very much want to avoid future mistakes. They welcome constructive straight talk.

Those who will not reach their full potential can’t stand to hear about past or current mistakes, and resist even constructive suggestions, so they never learn. The cycle of mediocrity just repeats and repeats.

I have noticed over the years that when I write an email about mistakes, missteps, common dumb avoidable things reps or sales team do, that open rates plummet. MOST reps don’t want to hear about such things. But you don’t want to be like MOST, you want to be like THE BEST, and learning from/avoiding common mistakes should be a priority for you.

I have plenty of knucklehead t-shirts. Earned them the hard way.
If you are not hearing things that make you uncomfortable, that make you think, you are not growing and will spend more time in knucklehead land.