Repetition: the key to long term success

Recently, I went out with a few people for a meal. It turned out that one of them was in sales. He had no idea that I am a motivational speaker and during the meal we talked about various things but towards the end of the meal this chap (let’s call him Pete) mentioned that he was a bit bored of his job because he has to do the same things over and over.

Every day he goes in to work and leaves at about the same time. Every day he makes the same kind of sales calls to new and existing prospects and clients. Every day he structures his calls the same way and handles challenges with the same lines. Every day he sends out similar marketing and sales emails and information. Every day he updates his prospect database. Every day he researches the internet. Every day he has the same sales conversations about the same products, the same services and the same solutions.

Every week he attends sales meetings which apparently are always run by his sales manager and are all nearly the same. Every week he sets the same kinds of sales targets with the same kinds of clients. Every week his manager runs similar mini sales training sessions. Every week he goes to see similar customers, with similar challenges, similar needs and wants, and similar objections.

He is getting bored.

Pete has a job – field sales.
He has a car – a small BMW.
He’s getting a salary and commission – I’d guess £40k + £20k + car (tops).
His sales performance and results are ok.
He is not getting sacked or made redundant any time soon – not that I know of anyway!

But there’s something not right here. Pete’s sales performance and results should be sky rocketing. He should be on his way to £100k+ and promotion but he’s not… The problem is that Pete has Sales Repetitis! Peter gets bored by any task that he has to do over and over.

In my experience many salespeople have Repetitis. Salespeople with Repetitis get bored and moan about having to repeat the same tasks over and over. This in turn leads to lack of motivation and causes them to lose focus and to start to go through the motions. This impacts their sales performance and results. Salespeople going through the motions do not make successful salespeople — they will gradually lose their edge and become less effective.

Let’s look at why solving this inability to deal with repetition is essential not only for your sales performance and sales results, but also for your long-term personal and financial success.

Firstly, as Anthony Robbins says, “repetition is the mother of skill”. The more you do of something, the better you get at it. Period. As a sales superstar in training you want to sweat the basic stuff.

How well you plan and prepare matters. How you conduct yourself matters. How you formulate your conversations matters. How you present your solutions matters.

In today’s YouTube generation many people want to be titillated and amused on a minute-to-minute basis and do not have the “stickability”, the perseverance, or the focus to really get good at anything, particularly not the basic stuff.

If you want to make real money out of sales you need to learn to focus so that you can repeat things over and over, constantly improving and sharpening your winner’s edge. Your own mini-sales training programme if you like. Only by doing this will you become a truly world class salesperson. Only by doing this will you increase your sales performance and your sales results. World-class salespeople outsell and outmanoeuvre also-rans. World-class negotiators squash also-rans. World-class presenters destroy also-rans.

What’s more, whatever your job, repetition is unavoidable. Doctors see person after person after person with minor ailment after minor ailment after minor ailment. Police officers deal with drunks, drivers, and burglaries time after time after time. Firemen and women fight routine small fire, after routine small fire, after routine small fire.

By doing this they become expert at what they do. But what if, instead of this, they all started going through the motions? What could they miss? What disasters could befall them and others? How culpable would they be?

What would you have to say if the fire crew attending your house didn’t get to your house as fast as you would have liked because they thought it was going to be another simple call?

I rest my case.

Repetition is essential in any role. Repetition is essential for skills development and improvement. Repetition is essential to keep you sharp and on the edge. Repetition is essential to increase your sales performance and your sales results.

As a salesperson, like in any other role, if you want to be world-class you need repetition. You need to sweat the basic stuff. If you have a case of Repetititis — mild or severe — then the only cure is to deal with it now…

Next time you find yourself repeating daily tasks keep your focus on how you can improve. Ask yourself some good old sales training questions like, “How could I be more effective?”, “How can I improve my sales performance?”, “How can I increase my sales results?” and “What can I learn here?”

Once you get over Repetitis you will be amazed by how much you can increase your sales performance and sales results with simple stuff that you might until now have thought of as “boring”.

Gavin Ingham

Gavin is a speaker and author of “Motivate People” and “Objections! Objections! Objections!” Gavin has given over 1000 paid talks to over 100,000 delegates, spoken in nearly every county in England, all over Europe and in the US and Africa. With talks from small SMEs to the likes of Jaguar, UBS, The Royal Bank of Canada, Microsoft and Renault Trucks, he knows what it takes to motivate and inspire audiences to change and adapt to today’s competitive markets.

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