It is a hard road to reach the top—and a long journey. And it is great once you get there—you win an award trip, receive accolades and recognition. Inwardly, you develop feelings of pride and self esteem. But you can’t stop there, for there is always another mountain to climb and another quota to surpass.
I think the journey to the top is not only challenging but fun. I remember reading that the quest for excellence is an asymptote—which in math terms is a curve that reaches the straight line but never meets it—always getting just a little bit closer. Perhaps that is why I’m always striving to improve, to do better. For in my mind, you never truly reach the pinnacle—once you attain mastery that summit just moves a bit further out of reach.
You do have to admire people who gain public recognition and acknowledgement of their successes and their skill—and yet continue to change. Tiger Woods comes to mind—before his personal troubles began, earlier in his career after he had won tournaments he decided he could do better. So he analyzed what he was doing, broke it down into different components, and began to rebuild, to start over. Eventually these changes drove him to even greater success and winning even more tournaments. Tiger Woods in not alone in his effort to strive for excellence by changing. Other people, those who may not be well known outside their company, also recognize that in order to improve, something needs to change.
Just recently, I received a personal note of thanks from a top performer that served as the impetus for this blog. Ivory Bickham is a member of a sales team who participated in training that Delta Point provided and wrote to tell me that although he was at the top of his game, our training made him think of new possibilities that he could apply to excel even more. Let me share what he wrote…
“When you introduced me to Thinking Like a Customer, it opened me up to a totally different skill set, a skill set that allowed me more time with my customers, and got me more meaningful dialogue. I was a little skeptical about taking on a new selling style, because I felt I knew the business, had the relationships, and had been successful over the years. When I decided to be totally committed to Thinking Like a Customer, implemented it into my pre-call planning, and used on each and every call, my territory began to sky rocket. In 2011, I won Presidents Club, which is the highest award within the [company] Pharmaceuticals Organization, and your Thinking Like a Customer selling model is the reason why I won.
If people are open minded, and are willing to do something that is a little different than their current selling style, Thinking Like A Customer can help take their business to new levels. I am speaking from first hand experience, because it took my territory to new soaring levels, levels that could not be possible without your sales model.”
The key point that Ivory makes is that he was open to listening and to trying something new—even though he had been successful in his current approach. That is what all the greats do. So my challenge to you is this: strive to do better, to sharpen that saw. There is greatness in each one of you—but you must be willing to work hard to hone and tone it. And be open to change—to doing things differently than you have always done them. Are you up for the challenge?