This is the third part in a series on the Kick Ass Sales Philosophy. This is the last post highlighting Effort.
EFFORT + CURIOSITY + ABILITY TO MAKE CONNECTIONS = KICK ASS SALES.
Effort, in the Kick Ass Lexicon, is made up of 3 parts: Measurables, Standards, and Expectations. Measurables are the one or two activities you can control that are essential to success; boil down your sales process. Standards are the minimum amount of measurables activity you can do and still be average; typically, they are set by your manager and are something to be kept at arms length since they only lead to mediocrity.
Expectations are the levels of activity and performance that you set for yourself. Here is the definition of expectation - "a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future." The expectations you set for yourself need to take belief. If 5% growth is what your manager has set as the standard for you company, then you should, as a Kick Ass Sales Person, expect yourself to do 7%. The concept of expectations is easy: set a target that takes some "strong belief" to happen. PIck a level of achievement that tracks back to the amount of measurables activity you think is achievable and adds x% to that. Expectations are supposed to stretch you.
This question is at the heart of the Kick Ass Sales. Why stretch yourself? Why do more? Why stress yourself with too much? Why expect more of yourself? The answer is because you can do it.
I have yet to meet a person that truly couldn't meet a challenge put before them. When I was in college, I lived in the honors dorm (the big payoff of years of nerd-ness in high school). Our floor formed a football team to play in the intramural league at my suggestion. I am semi-athletic, and we had another guy who could run without having to readjust his glasses on his nose. The other 6 or 7 guys (league was 7 on 7 one-hand touch -- this ways my key selling point to my geek friends -- know your customer, right?) were better at catching colds than footballs. Our league was at a major university with a long heritage of football. There were dorm floors we would play that were themed for high school jocks, football fanatics, and thugs. Nerds vs. the world. That was the challenge. We finished the year undefeated and only surrendered 3 touchdowns all season and up to the championship game, where we were totally annihilated.
Here's the point. No one on a campus of 40,000 people gave us a shot but we won most games by 6 or 7 touchdowns (that's right, the score was usually 42 - 3). None of those kids had ever competed. Ok, got me. They all had done Math Bowl. Rephrase: None of those kids had ever competed athletically, but like every team to start the year, we hoped we were going to win it all. After a couple games, we expected to win it all. That changed our mindset. Our nerdiness went to new levels as we schemed out plays, zone defenses, and tactics other dorm floors weren't expecting. We practiced 3 days a week when the other teams just showed up. Our expectations drove our effort to the point of being the campus underdogs and several hundred "fans" coming to the championship game dressed as the "Nerds from A-7" (That was our dorm floor name. To juxtapose, the other team had 2 fans there -- and, yes, they were both way cuter than any of our side of the field.).
The reason to stretch is to go beyond what you think you can accomplish. Expectations guide what you do. We didn't win it all but what we did achieve was a first for the almost 100 year history of our honors dorm. We got there because we figured things out that we didn't know how to do, we worked harder than other people, and we came into the games thinking we had an edge because of that.
How much more could you accomplish if your expectations guided your efforts?