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ISM Article


18 Apr, 2001 By: Terrill Klett imageSource


The sport of selling! Selling and sports have a number of common characteristics. There’s the competition, the victory, and the defeat. Good
sportsmanship is vital to any winning team, and, as part of a sales team, the
characteristic most specific to this “sport” would be the ability to work as a
good team member.

Training has always seemed to focus on either technology or product. When
sales skills are given it is usually in regard to the selling cycle. We are told
throughout our sales careers to “be good listeners” or to “be good teammates,”
but no one ever trains us on the “how to”! The illustration below epitomizes the
definition of teamwork.


In 1970 the New Orleans Saints football team was trailing the Detroit Lions
17-16 with two seconds remaining. A field goal would win the game, but would
have to sail a record 63 yards. Tom Dempsey of the Saints made that field goal,
resulting in a win for the Saints! This is a record that still stands today, but
most impressive was the response by Dempsey. His response was “the thing that I
remember most is that we won!” This was all made even more difficult by the fact
that Dempsey had to overcome a major handicap; he was born without a right hand
and only half a right foot. This is a perfect example of an incredible team
player. His attitude was impressive in not seeking the recognition for himself,
but rather for his entire team.

Each day in our profession we are faced with challenges and choices. We can
do things for our team or ourselves. We can have a positive attitude with a
winning spirit or a negative attitude with a whining spirit. We can complain
about our handicap, or we can focus on what it takes to have the team win.


Before you can become a better teammate you need to give yourself a litmus test,
and ask yourself the question, “how do I deal with the success of my peers?” Are
you genuinely happy for them, or do you scoff at their successes only to wish
they were yours? Being a good teammate can be difficult, because it takes time
and time is money. Be willing to go the extra yard, and share your good ideas or
information with your teammates. Some sales reps withhold beneficial information
from others on their team, because of the time involved or the concern of being
surpassed in the sales standings. Those who don’t share are usually selfish or
lack self-confidence. Today, information is what it is all about. Share the
information you get from the Internet, E-mails, or the magazines that you read.
No one has the time to comb through all of the material each week, so make it a
point to share what you have discovered at your meetings. Sharing the
information gleaned from this article would be a great start!

Team players are givers, and givers are happy people. They know that,
“whatever comes around goes around.” A great deal of good can be accomplished at
your dealership, if one is not too careful to who gets the credit. If your sales
team makes a “go around” with each other, then TEAM will surely stand for
“Together Everyone Achieves More”! Tips:

· To lose teammates, brag about yourself.

· To gain teammates, brag about others.

· Point out the best in others, especially when they are not around.

· Ponder how to build others up.

· Remember people’s names.

· Small deeds done for a teammate are better than great deeds planned.

· Don’t win an argument and lose a teammate.

The success of others is just as important as our own success. We are all
part of a team, working toward winning the big prize—the big finish! When your
teammate is at their lowest point, you need to be at your highest point for
them. When they achieve success offer those congratulations! Our business is not
to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves! Compete with
yourself—break your own records, and improve on yesterday today. An improved
team member results in an improved team!

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