They are both “C” words and their destructive natures act on the body in similar ways. One attacks the organs and the flesh while the other assaults mental goals, attitudes and ultimate success. Often, salespeople suffer from complacency after having first reached a pinnacle of success in some aspect of their career. Complacency might first appear upon completing a sale. Instead of vigorously pursuing the next sales opportunity, you tend to bask in your own success. Complacency is a devious mental disease often camouflaged by various disguises such as success, victory, pride and power. It often leads to boredom, an even more sinister form of complacency.
I don’t know if you have ever attended a matinee at the local movie theater, but half the people there are salespeople. You can tell by the way they are dressed. These salespeople have just landed a big sale and went to a movie to celebrate, or even worse, they are suffering from complacency or possibly boredom. The disease of complacency left undiagnosed or treated will not only lead to a shortened career, but often to a reduced lifespan. Many of you are familiar with Howard Hughes, a fabulously successful and wealthy industrialist. You may have heard of Hughes Aircraft or Hughes Tool Company. Howard seemed to have the Midas touch. Everything he was involved with seemed destined for success. As a relatively young man, he had achieved a level of success that most other men could only dream of. As a result of his early and sudden rise to fame and fortune, he became complacent and then boredom set in. Having achieved great success he had nothing to look forward to, no more mountains to climb, no more challenges to conquer. Howard became a recluse, confining himself to the penthouse in his Vegas hotel. He died at a relatively young age having lived a life only partially fulfilled.
Complacency is no respecter of persons and is ruthless in the way it destroys lives and yet, like many other forms of cancer, complacency is one hundred percent avoidable and curable. In the case of complacency, the prevention is also the cure. It is simple, yet profound and often not considered or applied because it seems too simple. Most people will accept the more difficult treatments and procedures for treating cancer, but ignore the simple and most basic lifestyle changes that could have prevented it in the first place.
Complacency can be avoided by the simple application of GOAL SETTING. Goal setting is the only treatment that will cure this dreaded salesperson disease. In addition to a regular dose of goal setting, a daily application of time management will make the goal setting easier to apply. You will absolutely avoid complacency in your life through living a life centered on goals and achievement. Daily time management will create a structure for achievement and guarantee the time necessary to reach your goals. No one has ever contracted complacency that applied goal setting and time management on a regular daily basis.
Here are five signs of complacency to watch for and that should be treated immediately, not just dismissed as normal behavior:
1. Kicking back and basking in the joy of completing a sale.
2. Rationalizing poor performance.
3. Believing that you have no room to improve.
4. Neglecting regular, meaningful daily planning.
5. Wasting time.
Complacency In Selling Is A Career Threatening Form Of Cancer
- Written by Timothy B. Huffaker, President, The Business Performance Group