Sales Productivity and Hard Work Ethic

Steve Suggs by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | on October 31, 2011 | about Character and Productivity
Sales Productivity and Hard Work Ethic

Given similar territories, the same product, and the same training, any group of salespeople will contain individuals with varing degrees of sales productivity.  Why is there such wide differences in sales results among seemingly talented salespeople?

Performance levels in sports, academics, sales, or whatever is highly dependent on one's work ethic. 

Work ethic is a character trait that is developed from our parents mentoring and training us to do our fair share to help take care of the family. This trait is imprinted on each child in varying degrees depending on the influence of the parent.

Here is an example of what must happen for work ethic to be strong in a person. A parent gives a task with a deadline. During the task, the parent instructs on whether or not the task is being completed correctly and encourages us to complete the task at the times when we want to quit. We listen to the encouragement, push through the hard work, and complete the task. We experience satisfaction and gratification for a job well done. We develop a sense of pride for having chosen to discipline ourselves to stick with it and not give up. This gratification and pride in accomplishment causes us to repeat the behavior.

We are then compelled to echo this behavior and even teach others. 

When a parent continues this instruction over and over, we finally develop work habits and disciplines around work that we carry into our first job.

I clearly remember the patterns of work in my family. Every summer we planted and harvested a garden. Every Saturday we cleaned the house. Every evening we did our homework and helped with cooking dinner and cleaning the dishes. There were clear expectations and standards of quality.

Those who do not experience this training from parents, lack an understanding about work and must be trained by someone else. Unfortunately, their first boss is left with the task. That is, if they are willing to take on the challenge. 

As you are reading this, you may be asking the question, "What is my level of work ethic?" If you are curious about this question and want to make sure you are taking advantage of life's opportunities by exercising hard work ethic, use these questions as an evaluation. 

1. Do I set specific and measurable goals with a deadline around those things that are important to me? 

2. Do I write the goals down along with measurable activities?

3. Do I look at the metrics on a weekly basis to measure my progress? 

4. Have I shared my goals with a mentor who will help hold me accountable and celebrate my progress? 

5. When I hit the hard parts of the tasks that will help me reach my goals, do I remind myself of the rewards of finishing rather than giving up? 

6. Do I experience the gratification for having pushed through the challenges and enjoying the reward? 

7. Do I work on hard tasks first or procrastinate by choosing to do the easy things first?

8. Do I have an internal clock that sounds an alarm when I am being unproductive during the most productive times of the day?

9. Do I plan tomorrow today, by reviewing my day and making a To Do list for tomorrow?

10. If I am not meeting my goals because of poor work habits and low work ethic, am I seeking mentors, training courses, and humbly asking for help? 

We all have the capacity to do our best every day for the benefit of others. If you were fortunate to get work ethic training from your parents, take advantage of the blessing. If you did not get the instruction in this area, seek help in breaking old habits and developing new ones. It only takes twenty-one days to develop a new habit. 

Next week, we will explore ways the character trait of personal responsibility 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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