From Vincent M. Roazzi’s great book, The Spirituality of Success, chapter 7: Expectations Are Excuses: Vincent was a national trainer traveling all over the country, and he said that “whenever I did an initial introductory training session, I would ask the trainees to share with the group their expectations of training. What did they expect would be covered during the training session? What did they need to learn about in order to become successful?” Then he said, “Of the hundreds of training sessions I conducted, the list of training expectations were always basically the same:
- The Company
- The Product
- The Sales Leads
- The Competition
- The Customers
- Sales Techniques
- Underwriting (We sold an insurance product.)”
He continues, “As the group said each item, I would list them on a whiteboard in the front of the room.” And, here’s a couple of key phrases he said next: “I was always amazed that no one ever included themselves, the salesperson, on the list! The salesperson, according to studies, is 85 percent of the sale, and yet no one referred to the 85 percent as what they needed or expected to learn about.”
Finally, he said, “One day, as I was standing in the back of the room, I looked at the list and realized that all their expectations were also the excuses they would give if they failed. Now the fact that they never mentioned themselves and what that meant was even more amazing.”
I think this tidbit from Vincent’s wonderful book is telling. And, I don’t mean only for salespeople in a training class. I mean for all of our interactions in our personal and business lives.
What are our expectations? Where do we fit in those expectations? If what Vincent said is correct, and I’m sure if not that it is mighty close, that 85% is within, not without, then we may need to close our eyes much more often in reflection and personal assessment.