I am pleased to bring to you an excerpt from my book:

What Every Great Salesperson Knows - A No-nonsense Guide for Sales Success Including Practical Self Assessments, Effective Exercises and Actual Case Studies
The heart of the book consists of the 15 Sales Success Factors that extensive research has shown make the difference between those who excel in their sales career and those who do not. The 15 Sales Success Factors are sub-divided into four clusters:

Mastery of Self
Mastery of the Sales Process
Mastery of Customer Relationships
Mastery of Own Business
For the purpose of this month's Champions' E-zine, I have selected one of the first four Sales Success Factors that is included in the Mastery of Self cluster, namely, Shows Self Discipline. I selected this factor because it has universal relevance, no matter what position or line of work you hold.

First, take a look at the following five attributes for Shows Self Discipline. Assess yourself by scoring yourself on a scale of 1-5 for each statement, where a score of 1 would mean that you use little or none of this behavior and a score of 5 means that you always use the behavior described.

Read the description of each core behavior and decide which rating level best describes your use of that core behavior. Base your ratings on what you have actually done in past experiences, not on what you think you might do in the future.


Is persistent in work routines and in following through in customer relationships.

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

Core Behaviors
a. Follows through on commitments to self and others.

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

b. Sets priorities and systematizes routine work to assure that prime time can be spent on critical activities.

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

c. Focuses on the task at hand and does not allow self to be distracted from planned work activities.

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

d. Uses routine systems for getting the work done (e.g., systems for prospecting, maintaining customer relationships and handling administrative details).

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

e. Willing to put in the time necessary to get a job done right.

RATING - 1 2 3 4 5

Shows Self-Discipline
Self-disciplined sales people are persistent in their work routines, in following through in customer relationships, record their progress and report to a coach or mentor.

The best way to develop this sales success factor is to learn to think and act like someone who does it well. The core behaviors coming out of research interviews with superior salespeople provide a good description of the thoughts and actions of those who rank high in this competency.

Highly self-disciplined salespeople:
Follow through on commitments to self and others.
Set priorities and systematize routine work so they can spend their prime time on critical activities.
Focus on the task at hand and do not allow themselves to be distracted from their planned work activities.
Use routine systems for getting the work done (e.g., systems for prospecting, maintaining customer relationships and handling administrative details).
Put in the time necessary to get the job done right.
Salespeople who LACK self-discipline:
Seem easily distracted.
Are disorganized in their work.
Have no established work plans or routines.
Forget assignments and miss appointments and deadlines.
Fail to track their sales activities and results.
Here are some helpful suggestions if you would like to develop more self-discipline.:

Observe a salesperson whose self-discipline you admire. Talk with this person about his or her attitudes toward work. Ask to see the tools that he or she uses to manage time, administrative activities and client follow-up.

Use a planning calendar to set priorities and to plan and record your daily and monthly activities. Hold yourself accountable to your plan.

Plan an effective office routine and make it a habit. Begin work early every day and aim for creating a common pattern for each week. Some people do this by planning an ideal workweek schedule.

Keep your office and desk neat, well organized, and free of distractions. Make a place for everything and keep everything in its place.

Say "no" to distractions. Always be aware of all of your common time wasters in your daily schedule, and then create a plan to eliminate them.

When you catch yourself being self-disciplined, give yourself some credit! Take the time to experience how good you feel about what you have done and encourage yourself to do it again.

Think of some times in the past when you have shown self-discipline. Try to identify common elements in those experiences. Seek opportunities for similar experiences in the future.

Become aware of your self-talk and make an effort to eliminate any negative thoughts that erode your discipline.

Good luck to you on your journey to success.