“Potential is really exciting, right? People get really fired up around their potential and what it is they possibly could accomplish. However, potential does not equal performance.” – Thom Singer on today’s Tip 111
How close are you to living up to your own potential?
Join the conversation below and learn more about Thom!
Scott Ingram: You listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from my good friend Thom Singer on a topic he’s been speaking to a lot of sales organizations about lately. Here he is with today’s tip.
Thom Singer: Today let’s talk about potential. Potential is really exciting, right? People get really fired up around their potential and what it is they possibly could accomplish. However, potential does not equal performance. Sales managers get so excited when they hire someone new, they add Becky to the team and they are fired up because she’s got the right background, the right experience. Becky’s got potential, and then a year later they’re transitioning Becky out of the organization. Well, how come if she had so much potential, why weren’t their results? How come she couldn’t sell? Well, it’s like I said, potential does not equal performance. My name is Thom Singer and I am a business growth speaker who works with teams and individuals to help them get focused on how to get farther across that gap between potential and performance. But when I get brought into a company, the sales manager who hires me usually expects that I’m going to come in and in a one to three hour period of time, build a bridge from potential to results, and then I’m going to put their entire sales team on one bus and drive them across that bridge. Well, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t build a bridge between potential and results because you’re never going to reach your potential. I know. Don’t tell your mom that sounds horrible, but nobody can reach their potential because as you go through this journey of life, what’s going to happen is you’re going to get more potential. Your potential is going to change. It’s not static. You’re going to read a book, you’re going to listen to a podcast, you’re going to have a motivational speaker come in who is going to hit the reset button for you, or you’re going to get an advanced degree or a special certification and that potential that you have is going to move farther out. So if we could build a bridge, eventually you’d reached the end of it and fall back into the gap. Plus we can’t put all the salespeople on one team on a single bus because what’s holding one person back is very different than what’s holding another person back. So there’s not one answer. There’s not one bus that we could drive across the gap, to begin with. So the analogy that I like to use is let’s build a scaffolding that goes across that gap. Now think about a scaffolding for a minute. It’s modular, it can be built to match the size of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish and construct. And so it goes across the gap. And if your potential shifts, you just add another module on so that you can continually work your way across towards potential. Now some people, once they know what’s high, it’s holding them back. They’re going to get out there on that scaffolding and they’re going to book right across. Other people are going to get out and they’re going to go up and down, maybe diagonal. They’re going to hold on and look at the gap. And scream a little bit and then eventually they’ll inch their way farther towards their potential. So that’s what we have to do. Now, I spoke recently in the construction industry and one of the sales managers came to me and said, “I love the analogy of the scaffolding. Do you have a construction background?” Well, no I don’t. And he said, “I love that analogy because you can’t build a scaffolding alone. It takes other people on the team to help you erect that scaffolding, especially if you want it to be safe because it’s heavy, it’s awkward. You need someone to check to make sure the bolts are tightened so that there’s safety involved”. And he said the other thing “is that a scaffolding is not a permanent structure. You build it to accomplish a series of tasks and then you take it down. But when it’s time for renovations, you erect a new scaffolding.” So that’s what we want to work on. We want to work on finding a way to get people across at their own pace and yet working as a team. Now in my presentation, which I call “The Paradox of Potential”, I have three areas that I touch on and that is everything that you need to do falls into these buckets and that is your plans, your passion, and the people you surround yourself with. So your plans, that’s goal setting. It’s making sure you know what you’re trying to work towards. Passion. You got to like your job. If you don’t like the product or service that you sell or you don’t like your company, you’re never going to be a top performer. And then the most important of these buckets is the people. Its how do you build relationships? Let’s face it, we live in a world where everyone is looking for shortcuts, but all opportunities in life still come from people. How you invest in people and grow relationships. That’s what’s going to matter. So get focused on how can I get across that gap and how can the rest of my team members come with me? But don’t expect that everyone is going to do it the same way. Potential doesn’t equal results, but to move closer to your potential. You do it by engaging in the right actions every day.
Scott Ingram: How close are you to living up to your own potential? This is a topic Thom is going to help us work through when he comes back to serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Conference Catalyst at the Sales Success Summit here in Austin in October. Together we’re all going to work on building a scaffolding to help each other get to the next level in our sales journeys. To learn more about, Thom his talks, in his podcast as well as the Sales Success Summit. Jump over to DailySales.Tips/111 then be sure you’re subscribed to this podcast so you don’t miss tomorrow’s tip.