Scan the bookstore shelves and you’ll find dozens and dozens of books studying and modeling what makes people excellent in many given fields.

Stephen Covey’s "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and Tom Peters "In Search of Excellence" are classics that probably instantly come to mind for you.

You certainly should study the top performers in business and in sales. It’s an approach I and many before me have used successfully for many years.

But you should also know that there is a lot of insight to be gained from observing mediocre, bad sales people.

To learn the right things from the experience though, you must carefully choose the mediocrity that you observe.

The easy temptation is to form conclusions about the mediocre retail sales people that you run into. I say this not to bad-mouth retail people, but because for most of us, 99% of our purchasing experience is with these people. So subconsciously most of the world thinks that this is what selling is all about.

If you do that though, you’re likely to form some very damaging conclusions about professional selling.

Damaging conclusions like:

"Thinking it over is reasonable. I would probably react that way"

No. Instead the mediocrity that you want to observe are the weak sales people who work with you (some of whom may even be your friends).

You want to take note of How, How Much, and When they do the following activities:

  • Prospecting
  • Prospecting Technique Development
  • Sales Call Preparation
  • Presentation Preparation
  • Personal Skills Development

The above list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but I think you get the idea.

Observe, make note, and answer these questions about the other sales reps you work with who are getting crummy results, do the opposite, and you’ll find exactly what you need to do to succeed in your organization.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus

P.S. You can learn my shortcuts on the Right Things To Do in selling in my Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. Go get yours now.