Glass Must Be Half-Full

I was at a sales meeting of a company with 21 reps the other day.  There’s a legacy battle going on there, as historically many of the reps were actually Agents.  That is, non-salaried employees, paid on a commission-only basis for their specific, exclusive territory.

Now, you’d think that sounds entrepreneurial, and as such, the Agents would be mega-motivated.  Well, the opposite was more often the case.  They whinge, moan and belly-ache, expecting the world to owe them a living.  And quite rightly, the fella in charge was getting rid of all but a couple.

The venomously destructive and miserably negative nature of their comments, reminded me of something I picked up in a sales call a couple of years ago.  They were a printer reseller, with a fairly dynamic owner-manager, yet with an inappropriate person in charge of their 30-strong telephone-based sales team.

The Boss recounted a story he’d come across about a Canadian insurance business.  They could never quite seem to get a handle on the right recruitment policies.  They spent huge sums of money on different approaches, all to no avail.

Then they pyscho-analysed all their top performers.  They discovered that they all shared one trait; Optimism.

They then experimented by recruiting on this one characteristic alone.  And would you believe it, everything improved.  Wonderful.

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