Mastery or Mediocrity?



  • Comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment.

“she played with some mastery”

  • control or superiority over someone or something.

“man’s mastery over nature”


  • The quality or state of being mediocre
  • Of only moderate quality; not very good.

“a mediocre actor”

In the field of sales, either you are striving for sales mastery or you’re simply performing with mediocrity.  A rep focused on becoming a master in his or her profession will always be distinctive from those that have a mediocre approach to their profession.

The question is:  Which are you?

Rather than elaborate on what a mediocre sales professional (can you really call that person a “professional?”), let’s look at some of the key characteristics of a sales professional who is striving to master his or her profession and bring the greatest value to their clients, their company and their career.

  • A Clear Focus on and Understanding of Their Ratios

Mastery means understanding how many touches it takes to identify a prospect.  It means knowing how many contacts it takes to get a meeting set with a decision maker.  It also includes appointment to proposal ratios as well as closing ratio.   In other words, a true sales professional understands the art of predictability.

Regardless of what you’ve read or have been told, sales can be quite predictive.  If you understand your ratios, you can lay out a clear path for consistent sales success.  The absence of such, well, let’s just leave that for the mediocre rep.

  • No White Space

Take a moment and look at your calendar for this week.  Go ahead and look at last week while you’re at it.  Of the hours available to be in front of a prospect, a decision maker, someone who can say, “Yes!”, what does the white space reflect?  Is it 20%?  40%?

If the white space in your calendar is greater than 20%, you have an issue.  In fact, a true master of selling has zero white space on their calendar.   In fact any professional in any profession should have zero white space in their calendar if they are maximizing their time.

A master sales professional has time blocked out to leverage social media. It’s limited and well defined, but it’s accounted for.  How much time do you devote to leverage LinkedIn to nurture relationships and develop new contacts?

A master has time blocked out every day to prospect on the phone. Is it a priority or are you just giving it lip service?

A master professional has appointments blocked out throughout the day

A master sales pro accounts for their time when they will respond to email, follow up phone calls, writing proposals, creating order paperwork, etc. This time isn’t left to chance.  Instead it is set aside in a specific time slot, preferably after peak selling hours.

  • A Real Commitment to Growing in Knowledge

A sales professional committed to mastering his or her craft is constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and grow.  They listen to sales training information while they drive.  They read books or listen to audio-books constantly.  They are attending sales seminars or webinars to seek out ideas that will strengthen their skills.

The mediocre rep complains they don’t like to read.  They don’t have time.  They’ll do it if and only if the company pays for it.  Welcome to mediocrity hell!

  • A Sales Master Looks and Acts like a Sales Master

You can pick the sales masters out in a crowded room of other sales professionals.  They are dressed for success and stand tall, shoulders back.  Yes, your mamma said that a lot while you were growing up.  You didn’t listen then, but perhaps you should now.

A sales master is seeking out individuals he or she can help.  Rather than asking for leads or introductions, they simply, honestly and clearly ask, “How can I help you?”  They understand the age-old Zig Ziglar mantra, “If you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get everything you want.”  It has to happen in that order…period.

Let me ask you, “Which one are you?”  Are you a sales professional who is actively seeking ways to become a true master of your craft or are you just trying to get by on good looks and charm?  Are you more focused on what you can get than about how you can help others?  Are you sold out on your profession or are you just winging it until a better gig comes along?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you are striving to become a real master of the art of selling.

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