Sales Productivity Improves When We Accept Responsibility for the Outcome of Our Actions

Steve Suggs by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | on November 09, 2011 | about Character and Productivity
Sales Productivity Improves When We Accept Responsibility for the Outcome of Our Actions

Changing your sales performance right now begins with accepting personal responsibility for taking the first step. 

During one of my first jobs as a teenager, I faced some challenges while working for a small family owned business.  Many times in family owned businesses there are too many leaders and too few followers.

I was frustrated and wanted to quit and find a more positive working environment. 

After listening to my weeks of complaining, my patient mother finally gave me some of her greatest advice.  She said, “We don't run from our troubles. If you don’t like the way things are, YOU work to change them.”

As I wrongly interpreted what she said, my solution was, “So, I’ll quit and find a job somewhere else.”

Her response taught me the most important lesson in my life, “No, stay where you are and work hard to change how YOU react to how YOU are being treated.  YOU are not responsible for how YOU are being treated. YOU are only responsible for how YOU react to the way YOU are treated.

Until YOU grow past this experience and sand off some of YOUR rough edges, YOU will carry the same rough edges into YOUR next job, eventually creating the same situation that existed in your last job.”

This was my life lesson in the character trait “personal responsibility”.

Salespeople with mature levels of personal responsibility live by the motto, “If it is to be, it is up to me.” We can choose our actions and reactions.  If we choose wrongly, we are responsible for the outcome of our wrong decisions and must continue to work to make things better. 

We have the power to choose the way we think and feel about every word that is spoken to us. No other person has the power to "make me mad", "hurt my feelings", "tear me down".  We choose to feel a certain way when things are said to us or when things happen to us. Emotionally mature people understand that you can choose to be happy or sad in your current circumstances. It takes work and discipline to reach this level of personal emotional control; however, it is possible. 

To have the greatest impact on the outcome of our actions, we must work to grow from our mistakes by seeking wisdom and understanding.

Top salespeople don’t blame their boss, the economy, or the company for their lack of sales. They work to change those things about themselves that will create the best possible outcome given their situation. They control the controllables (yourself),  and allow the uncontrollables to take care of themselves.

You can control how you spend your time. If you choose to open mail instead of phone for prospects, it is these types of choices that impact sales performance, not the economy. In this current economy, it may take twice as many calls and 50 hours in a week instead of 40, but we can choose how we react to economic circumstances. Do we work harder, or do we choose to believe working harder will not produce better results. 

Whatever you believe, you chose that belief. 

In the next post we will explore ways that the character trait of concern for others impacts sales productivity. To set your income goal with activity targets, use the online sales funnel when you create an account at

Steve Suggs is a partner at Sales Manage Solutions, a sales consulting firm focused on coaching sales managers from good to great.  You can also read Steve’s recruiting salespeople blog at

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