You Can't Manage Results....Only Behavior

Success in sales, or lack thereof, is easily measured by looking at the results of any sales professional or team. The same goes for any goal--you measure the result. BUT...what we need to remember, is that you cannot manage that result. You can only manage what you do to get there. Over time, results are a reflection of what we do day in and day out. But this isn't necessarily the case in the short run, and if we fixate too much, we can even hinder our success. Consider the individual trying to lose weight. If this person eats an entire box of cookies, the scale the next morning probably won't reflect it. It may even show a weight loss. Does that mean that should he/she eat another box of cookies?


BE RESULTS-DRIVEN. BUT NEVER PANIC ABOUT IT. I learned the hard way that obsessing about a sales result can be counterproductive. In one selling period that was a “nail-biter”, I made myself physically sick in worry. My worry about the result forced me into a position that I could not TAKE ACTION that would help to reach my goal.  

THIS GOES FOR LEADERS TOO. If a leader is worrying too much about the result, the effectiveness of that leader will be hindered. A team can feel it and they will not respond positively.

ONE GOOD RESULT DOESN’T MEAN THAT EVERYTHING IS OKAY. I remember a case where a new rep started in a sales territory where all the stars were aligned—she had a huge first year without having to do too much. Because the numbers were good, no one really realized that she had major gaps in her skills and behaviors. Until year 2. Sometimes, businesses fail to examine the day to day activities until the numbers show that there is a problem. Focusing on the activities is the important step in making sure that the numbers stay strong. 

A wise manager friend once told me “you can’t manage results....only behavior.” The desired result should always be our starting point in mapping out a plan. But then, we need to break it down and do what is needed each day. The “day in and day out” is what we can truly manage and the only clear path to our desired result.