One of the most important things top sales leaders must do is to deal with the underperformers on your team. You’ll never get "A" results with "C" players, and as our business gets harder, today’s C player is a D in a couple of years.
|“We are always moving in the direction of the things we think about most.” Years ago, when I picked up Denis Waitley’s book, The Psychology of Winning, that idea was one of the most powerful lessons I learned. It continues to be a significant concept for me today.
Waitley taught me to be aware of my self-talk. Because self-talk tends to become self-fulfilling prophecy. When someone says, “I always get a cold in the summer,” they will. If I grab an old ball out of my bag on the Par 3 hole over the water, it’s a safe bet I’m about to lose that ball. My thoughts determine my action.
So maybe… just maybe… when an industry says there’s no way core revenue is going to grow, they’ll be right. A self-fulfilling prophecy!! But does it have to be that way?
I listened to a bunch of the corporate earnings calls in the last few weeks, and it’s pretty clear we’re struggling with core revenue growth. That’s likely going to be the case when we report Q1 as well, unless you’re an NBC station with the lift from the Olympics and Super Bowl.
I’m convinced we don’t have to accept that as our new reality. But it will take two things. The first is a renewed energy of leaders for the power of our product. “You can’t jump a dead battery with a dead battery.” A smart CRO helped me with this recently when he said, “We focus on the wrong things. Sure, the Super Bowl ratings were down a little (about 3%), but we still had 103 Million people watching the game.” In fact, the 2018 Super Bowl was the 10th most-watched program in the ENTIRE history of TV. Funny, that fact didn’t get any publicity, did it?
And, it’s not just about the big ratings events. At Jim Doyle & Associates, every week we see it in the amazing results that the combination of digital and TV are delivering for clients. Like the Midwestern car dealer who came back to TV last November and had a 139% increase in sales the next month. We’ll make over 5000 sales calls this year with advertisers all over America, and I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that our core product, when used correctly, is still the most powerful form of communication ever invented. And that power gets magnified by our ability to pair digital tools with our core TV product.
The real issue is… do you believe it? Are you transferring that belief (and passion) to the people you lead? That’s the first piece, but that isn’t close to enough to really move the needle.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
It’s not enough to be a cheerleader for our product. Leaders have to have a plan that reflects the reality of our times. I use this space most weeks to talk about some of things that need to be in your plan.
- We MUST no longer accept average sellers. The person on our team who’s a C player today is a D- player in three years as the business gets harder. You won’t win today’s game with a staff of average. That means recruiting needs to be on every leaders’ weekly calendar.
- We have to be more focused than ever on the real customers (not their agencies) and on customer results. We’ve had an amazing run servicing agencies, but in the new TV business we have to return to being customer-facing. We need to be absolutely committed to getting measurable results for our clients.
I understand that it’s easy to pontificate in a column like this. Yes, I have the easy job. But I believe with every fiber of my being that we have to be careful not to create a low growth/no growth environment because we've lowered our expectations.
Passionate belief in our product combined with a plan. That’s the recipe for leaders who don’t want to settle, and those leaders are my heroes.
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