The environment you select for yourself is an important factor on your journey to master the art of sales and persuasion. The reason I say this is because your environment influences you, your income, and your career.
If you put yourself in a company where sales is not viewed as important or if the someone is leading the sales team and does not see the value in selling (this can happen at smaller start ups) or has a negative view of sales, how happy are you going to be there?
If you put yourself in a sales environment where the other people around you are positive and enthusiastic people and you are selling a product you are passionate about and love, and your manager supports your growth, and there is an excellent comp plan and you have the freedom flexibility and autonomy to thrive, how happy will you be there?
Now the real question is: how do you know if you’ve selected the right environment ?
There are countless opportunities out there. And there is an old saying in programing. Garbage in = Garbage out. If you are out there selling a crappy product with people you don’t respect or admire how are you going to take your sales to the next level?
If you want to loose weight should you hang out at McDonalds?
If you don’t like where you work you can change it.
If you want you can change it.
If you don’t like where you live you can change your address.
If you don’t like the city you are in you can move.
You have to ask yourself the question, is the environment I am in going to produce the income I desire?
If you want to make 250k per year and the top rep at your company is only making 70k per year, how likely do you think it is that you will make 250k per year in your current environment?
If you want to quit drinking and you keep hanging out at bars and clubs, how likely will you be to follow through?
The answer is that environment matters. And Environment affects you.
Now would a person who has the identity of top producer, has the beliefs of a top producer, has the capabilities and behaviors of a top producer, would they hang around in an environment that is sub par? Would they hang around where the demands are low, where the motivation is low, and the sales culture is shunned?
The answer of course not.
“Hold on a second Dan” , you might be saying to yourself. “That’s all well and good but you don’t understand what it’s like where I work. You don’t know the trouble my boss gives me day in and day out.”
One thing I can tell you is that no matter what the environment, if you do less than you can you are doing a disservice to yourself, your self esteem, and your personal brand. The damage can last for years.
If you do less than you can, slowly but surely that builds in a habit. The more you reinforce a behavior the more it becomes a habit. And you don’t want to build a habit of doing less than you are capable of.
If you have made a decision on an environment, give it 120% of your effort or find a new environment.
Those are the only two options.
Well why even try if I hate my job?
The answer is another question: how will you attract a new environment with the attitude of doing less than you can?
No matter what you should always leave a place better than you found it. If you are working in an environment you don’t like, be the change you want to see.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
When you do find an amazing environment be aware of the law of familiarity. It’s easy to take things for granted. Make sure you are grateful for the opportunities you have and more will flow your way.
Now the real question is how do you find an amazing environment ?
Considerations for the perfect sales environment:
- Your Vision
What is your vision ?
Without a vision the people parish. Many people focus on what they don’t want and not on what they actually want.
Have you written out exactly what you are looking for in a company? If not, how are you going to know when you find it?
I wrote out exactly what I was looking for in 2012 in a company and amazingly enough I looked back in my journal and I found exactly what I was looking for. It’s amazing how easy it is to get what you want if you know what you want and write it down.
At the same time I’ve ask people who are on the search for a job, what do you want in a job?
And I’ve heard answers like “I don’t know” or “Something that pays the bills” that’s not going to be enough to thrive and excel. To get what you want you have to decide what you want. Spend the time soul searching for what specifically you are looking for in a job, write it down it’s more than worth it!
There are many books dedicated to the idea of leadership, one that I’ve really enjoyed is Extreme Ownership – How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
What is leadership? Put simply, leaders demand more from themselves than anyone else would ever expect. They take full ownership, or to borrow from my favorite Navy Seal Jacko, they take extreme ownership of their results and everything they’ve attracted into their life.
To become a top performer in sales you must be a leader. You also must respect the leadership of your company. Without strong sales leadership in the environment it will be more challenging to thrive in the sales environment. Especially if the senior leadership in the company does not truly believe in the importance and value of sales. If you don’t have strong sales leadership to look up to in your company you have two options.
Option One: Be the leader. Step up and take the lead and demonstrate by example.
Option Two: Find another company that has strong leadership.
If you are not willing to to do either of these things then it will be much more challenging to thrive in an environment where there is no strong sales leadership. It is also a signal that it may be a bumpy road ahead for the company as a whole.
The people you surround yourself with is who you will become. The standards of those around you will influence your standards.
The ideal culture is full of star performers who celebrate each others success and are all looking to grow and expand. You can hear the cheers when any deal comes in. And you can feel the excitement on the sales floor. You are lucky to be surrounded by your friends.
The contrast is a culture where the people stab each other in the back to increase their own commissions. You can feel your standards being lowered because the majority of the people are doing less then they can, and you don’t hear much on the sales floor not even a peep. You see messy desks and low energy people complaining about how hard sales is.
Now here’s a question, do you want to surround yourself with people who are worse than you or people better than you?
If you play a game like basket ball or tennis with people who are all worse than you, will you get any better?
Strive to find an environment where the standards are high, even beyond your comfort zone, that’s how you grow, that’s how you improve, that’s how you thrive!
The industry you select will have a huge impact on your income. If the top performer in your industry brings in 100k per year and you want to make 200k per year, you may be running east looking for a sunset. Select your industry wisely and don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. One amazing thing about sales is the fundamentals are the fundamentals. If you have a strong working knowledge and completely grasp the fundamentals you can apply them into any industry.
In real estate the old saying goes something like this, location, location location. What I have found is that I’m much happier when my commute is short and I work in a beautiful environment. It gives you a certain sense of confidence and the feeling that you’ve made it. Your environment affects the way you think and feel about yourself. I absolutely love working in North Beach in San Francisco on Columbus ave.
You can easily see the Trans America Pyramid and the moon as it’s setting in the early morning and it looks like something from ancient Egypt. You can hear all the sounds of the city as people make their way to work. There is beautiful architecture like the Bay Bridge. You can easily take a walk to Coit tower or to China town and feel like you are in a different country depending on what neighborhood you select. You can smell the wonderful smells of the different restaurants during lunch time as they get ready for the lunch rush. It makes me feel amazing just walking to work and looking at all the beauty!
Ask yourself this question, what kind of person works in the workspace I’ve created? What kind of person works at this desk?
If you just cringed…. keep this in mind, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they keep their desk. If you were a hiring manager would you want to promote someone who’s desk is constantly a mess and is completely un-organized? If they can’t manage their own desk space how are they going to lead a team?
One of the things that massively effected my income was converting to a standing desk. If you are hunched over your desk talking on the phone how certain are you going to sound to your clients?
Versus if you are standing and making gestures, how much more powerful do you feel?
A standing desk also has a the virtue of curing some of the movement imbalances of working in an office. Once I implemented a standing desk this quickly caught on and now every single desk in my organization has the ability to be standing or sitting. I took a page out of the Gandhi playbook. Be the change you want to see in your workplace.
I’ve also been day dreaming recently about a treadmill desk, so we will see what the future has in store for my office environment!
What are other ways you can score your workspace to make it more fun? For me music has always been a great tool when working on a project I might consider more boring. Any project you have that you feel is more boring than grass growing can be changed with some simple scoring techniques.
What is your vision for your perfect workspace?
How would it feel to have an environment that excited you and made you want to get up early and stay up late?
What would that environment sound like, what kind of music or cheers would you hear in this ideal environment?
Leaders see it as it is and then better than it is. Don’t be afraid to suggest changes or take the first step in your organization, you’d be surprised at the results you can achieve by simply taking the first step.
If you are reading this post it’s my firm belief that we share a common bond, the desire to get better at what we do and improve daily. And I expect that if you apply the technique of writing down your specific vision for your ideal career you will achieve what you want if you focus on it single-mindedly until you find it!
Thanks for reading!