If you have overweight people around you, or if you are one of them, you might be familiar with this constant part of the obese people’s lives: I have to lose weight! Obesity is mostly associated with overindulgence with food and drinks, low physical activity, laziness, unwillingness to take things in your own hands, going with the flow, low resistance to temptations and unhealthy habits.
Obese people face serious health problems: their blood pressure hits the roof, they are threatened by diabetes, liver problems, heart disease, spinal damages (discal hernia for example), joint problems and all sorts of other malfunctions. On top of it all, their family and fiends like to be “helpful” and remind them constantly that they need to lose weight. They would come around saying stuff like:
“You looked great and so slim on that picture from your 20s” or
“I heard of those magical pills that can help you lose like 20 kg in one month with no yo-yo effect, why don’t you try them?”, or
“You need to start walking more or even go to the gym”, or
“This is really rich and heavy, why don’t you take something lighter”, or
“You need to get more disciplined and start exercising regularly”,
and so on and so forth.
All very good pieces of advice. And well meant too. But are they helpful? Not really. Why?
Because all they do is make the obese person feel GUILTY, UNAPPRECIATED, NOT GOOD ENOUGH. And it stops here.
Because obese people KNOW all this. They have even tried. More than once. And have failed.
Because no one asked them WHY they are like this? What went wrong? What do you actually need help with? What do you want to do about it? How can I help?
So far, YOU, my dear reader, may be asking yourself the question “Yeah, yeah, but what’s the relation between obesity and sales?” Read on…
You may have sales people around you, or you may be one of them, who have worked long time as sales people. They are not getting huge results but are doing fine. Only every now and then they get slow, forget to listen, “feed” themselves with CRM work or Farming their clients. They lose their ability to ‘run’ after new and challenging clients, start talking about “how many times they have tried and it didn’t work”, talk in large about how tough “the market” is and how “difficult the clients are” in this economy.They sometimes need to work longer and harder, because they have lost their fitness. Their results are not improving or even may be going down. “Due to the economy”. Or ‘The Competition is unfair”. Or “That’s the market”. And they may even get angry at those who tell them:
“Why don’t you check out that new book on sales that came out – it’s a really good one.” or
“You need to get more disciplined with your CRM input and you won’t feel swamped afterwards”.
“Remember how enthusiastic and quick thinking you were when you started here?”
“Why don’t you go to that sales training, you can learn some new techniques and stuff.”
What is the affect achieved? They don’t take action to make their situation better.
WHY? Look back up to the obese people section.
Because as well meant as they can be, those remarks make the sales people feel: GUILTY UNAPPRECIATED NOT GOOD ENOUGH And it stops there.
Because those emotions block all the good reason sales people may have in that situation.
Because your “sales obese” people already feel bad about themselves and are maybe trying to adjust to the new ‘life’ – they are slower, some things that used to be easy are now causing pain or just turn out wrong, they get touchier when you discuss unsuccessful client cases or when they don’t get recognition for the advancement they have (even as small as it is, it cost them a lot). You may see them hiding behind creative (well, mostly not so creative) excuses and ‘important’ chores with big/loyal/important clients. It is hard to make them get out there and find new markets and opportunities. You may even see them losing more and more deals and becoming more and more defensive.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Again, look back up to the obese people section.
TALK to them.
GIVE THEM WHAT THEY LACK (and it may vary from person to person)
Make them realize they need to take their own RESPONSIBILITY for the successful outcome.
HELP them after they tell you what kind of help they want. In other words – COACH them!
Or they will remain obese, suffering and soon you may have to let them go. And it will not be their responsibility.