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Discipline – Most Lacking Element in Sales Training

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Wed, May 12, 2010

The first day of medical school students visit the morgue.  This is where their mistakes end up they are reminded. Nothing quite as dramatic is done for sales people, however if you have an idea how to impact salespeople in a like manner please suggest it! 

In the new era of selling Jeff Thull suggests three important elements need to be addressed: Systems, Skill, and Discipline. 

Systems: What to do

Skill: How to do it

Discipline provides Courage.

The key to scaling as I learned long ago in my E-Myth coaching training is agreement on the system.  Most salespeople see the system as something that restricts or limits them so they resist.  In reality a system is an organized procedure or set process that leads to a predictable result.  When stated in this fashion it's hard to believe any sales person would resist a predictable outcome like a closed sale. 

Skill is the individual's knowledge and ability to execute the system.  Pilots for any airline train with the same system yet you experience the difference in their personality on takeoff.  One who may make a gradual ascent [He gardens on his weekends] another captain literally scrapes the tail as he accelerates off the landing strip [military veteran or rock climber]. 


The aspect most lacking is Discipline.  This is the individual's mindset, the quality standards of performance and emotional strength.  It's their courage and stamina.  Pilots spend so much time in a simulator for one reason, to stay calm during any crisis.  In sales emotional involvement means the salesperson loses control of the sales process.  They go into crisis mode often panicking.  He begins to think, stops listening, and begins listening to him or herself rather than the prospect. That leads to the sales person falling into Are Prospects Following Your Sales Process or Theirs?  The salesperson has fallen prey to the customer or worse yet the competitor's system. 

How much time are you investing in developing discipline with your sales people?  Can you blame them if they are not equipped to remain in control if you haven't invested time in conditioning them to remain calm when they are hit with prospects questions?  Think of your sales people as pilots.  How much time have you spent with them in simulators, creating or re-enacting conditions that might occur during a call or diagnosis?   Is it time you invested time to help them to remain calm, follow your system and improve their knowledge and ability to execute your system?

Next blog the Decision Challenge - When does your customer decide and how.  It may surprise you.  

Topics: Sales Process, Discipline Plan, Sales Training, Sales Discipline, Jeff Thull

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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