Working on improving the communication around a global sales team earlier in the week, I was reminded of a terrific story from a former sales guy.
The current President of this €150m business, a winner called Mark Kelly, started out life selling plumbing equipment. He took particular pleasure in beating one specific competitor. They were not only his biggest threat, but also the nastiest. You’ll know the sort; ethics fly out the window, bully customers, lie about their product and yours. Anyhow, he knew where their regional office was.
A vital aspect of his personal motivation to beat them, meant that he would often rock up to their place, once his daily rounds were over, and simply park outside. He’d have his then favourite tunes playing volcanically loud on his car stereo. Specifically Run Riot from Def Leppard (there’s no accounting for taste).
If there was someone still working there, lights still on, he’d be wound up to work harder over the next few days, until he’d arrive to see in fact it was he that’d worked later. And would you know it – he displaced the competitor from nearly all his accounts….
The lesson for me, is that this shows a particular passion and drive. I try to identify these traits in every sales guy I take on. It’s something that really has to come from within. You can be told that this is what sets sales people apart, but how do you start to live and breathe the philosophy? If you do, then you too will undoubtedly become a winner.