Performance: Are You A Fearless Improver?

“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are.”

This is a quote from Kung Fu Panda, where Master Shifu  asks Po, his student, to teach Kung Fu skills in front of the class and it doesn’t go well. Po asks Shifu why he asked him to do it if he knew he would fail and his reply is:

“If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be more than you are.”

It’s amazing what you learn from kids’ films, isn’t it? What a wonderful message for us to apply in our businesses and lives too!

The most successful salespeople look for ways to develop their skills and in turn grow their confidence to use those skills. These true sales professionals are receptive and want honest feedback to help them improve.

It’s about developing new skills and persevering till we find the right way to use them. Doing things that we have previously done that are successful is OK, but even those activities need to be enhanced or they lose effectiveness.

I see salespeople who were previously number 1 top performers slip to 3rd or 4th among their peers. This isn’t because their performance has dropped. It’s because their performance hasn’t changed. Meanwhile their colleagues have overcome fears and developed new approaches which lead to greater success. The previously top performer has decided their way will prevail as it has done before. Their pitfall is that they haven’t adapted and start to get left behind. They then justify that it’s “consistency!”

The mentality of the fearless improver is that they consider more ways to approach a sales challenge and are thus more flexible. They also collaborate with each other and do not consider helping each other as giving away secrets or hard earned methods of success. This further increases morale, confidence and performance!

The dynamic of several sales teams I’m working with is shifting like this: the middle group of performers (always where most growth opportunity exists) get continually better and it gets to the stage that they develop such a great run rate that anyone is a future contender for the top 3 spot. Meanwhile performers who were previously at the lower end and feeling the pressure adjust and refine their approach and enjoy more success and flourish, earning decent commission levels. Fear diminished!

This requires regular focus, commitment and investment and is down to personal preference: feedback, reading of articles, books, blogs, podcasts, videos, seminars, workshops.

As Darwin said: “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives…it is the one most adaptable to change.”

It would be great to hear comments or stories where you’ve adapted your approach and their outcomes. Please share with your connections too!

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