How To Monitor Progress

I used to be an English language teacher. I taught visiting foreign students how to speak English. One of the biggest challenges that teachers (and students) face when learning English – or anything at all really – is measuring progress.

When it’s you doing the learning, you just don’t your own notice progress unless you consciously monitor it.

When I work with a VIP client, the first piece of work we do is an intensive month, where we talk together every day for a month. We get Sundays off. It’s a ‘fast track to sales success’ course.

The first piece of work that my clients do is to write a Starting Point document. This document is an objective look at where they are business-wise and a subjective look at how they feel about where they are. Each week, they complete an ‘end of week’ document and together, these form a narrative of the journey that they have taken and of their progress.

Last week, one of my clients, Angela, wrote this in her end of week assessment; “For once I feel positive about my business and about me; before I felt despair and self-loathing”. I was horrified!

Why Sales Success Doesn’t Come Automatically

We had a talk about it and it seems that the reason Angela had contacted me about working 1:1, is because she had really been struggling with her business, with herself in her business and with her mind monkeys.

Angela knew that others had been able to create a business with the direct sales company she is with. She loves and wholeheartedly believes in the product she sells. However, she just couldn’t make her business work properly – to make  a ‘grown-up’ income. She was working so hard and not seeing the results she wanted. The company’s marketing advice is to wear branded clothing, leaflet the local area and have posters everywhere possible; all of which seems reasonable. She’d done this and only achieved moderate results.

When Being Intelligent And Organised Isn’t Enough

What was particularly maddening for Angela I think, is that she is an intelligent, articulate woman who is organised, efficient and very professional. Yet she wasn’t finding the success that she craved in her business. She was working very hard, but it just wasn’t coming together.

The change in Angela’s feelings from despair and self-loathing to feeling positive about her business is that for once, Angela feels empowered. She finally knows what she needs to do. It’s an odd thing, but we seem to think that we should somehow innately know how to run a business and that that should be enough. In lots of cases, we do know how to run a business (as in operationally), yet it doesn’t seem to be enough. We have our files in alphabetical order, we have our client notes carefully recorded. Our stock is counted and stacked neatly, our books are up to date. Our ‘running a business’ box is well and truly ticked. What we don’t know, is how to grow a business. What we don’t know is how to sell.

Selling Is Not An Innate Talent

Why should we know how to sell? How could we? Unless we’ve worked in a professional sales environment, we don’t get taught how to sell, so how are we supposed to know how to do it?

Selling is one of those things that people seem to think happens if the customer service is right, or if they have a website (build it and they will come, remember?). They think it happens if you spray enough leaflets about the place, or if you are in ‘the right place’ in your branded t-shirt. Guess what? It doesn’t.icons

Selling is a skill and like all other skills, it can be learned. It’s also a process and processes too can be learned. It’s also active and not passive. With Angela, I explained the process and together we’re shaping that process to fit her business perfectly. She now understands how the sales process applies to her business, and her mind monkeys are calming down. Her organisational skills are being used in an appropriate way; organising her sales activities for the weeks to come, rather than to tidy the office.

In short, Angela now gets it and her self-respect has returned.

I love my job!

‘Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile’ Abu Bakr