At 13 years old, I was working close to 40 hours a week. This wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity. Growing up with immigrant parents who didn’t speak the language and had very low paying jobs forced me to obtain what would soon be one of the best qualities I have today. Hard work is one of the main reasons I have succeeded in business. Three years after co-founding my company at 31 years old, we had close to 30 employees and had tripled our growth.
I have always led our sales team, and it took a strong work ethic and a lot of discipline to obtain that level of success. I find that, today, a lot of people lack a good work ethic. If you investigate the most successful entrepreneurs, they will agree that hard work beats talent and is one of the main reasons for success in business. As an entrepreneur, if you were not forced to become disciplined and develop that habit growing up, how do you obtain it?
Work ethic is a set of principals used daily through a person’s job. People with a strong work ethic follow these principals that drive productivity, quality and consistency in the workplace. The tendency is to produce great results through those principals, which keeps them motivated to produce more.
I believe the drive for success is the core factor to develop a strong work ethic. There must be a passion for success. Do you know why your employee has chosen their profession? Do you understand what the financial gains will do to their current reality? If you understand their “why,” it is easier to recognize their motivators. This makes it easier to train your sales team to go beyond what is necessary to achieve their quota or deadlines. The following steps can help employees’ determination for success: setting personal and career goals, understanding abilities and disabilities, keeping expectations high and using strengths.
Finishing projects and tasks in a timely manner is so important for productivity. Work ethic helps employees avoid procrastination, which ultimately can kill deadlines. It helps improve the drive to go beyond issues that arise throughout the projects to the final goal of completion. It is also important to produce quality work; managers do not want to see projects completed sloppily. A strong work ethic helps the employee meet deadlines and deliver quality. Training that is focused on efficiency, the ability to delegate and steps to reduce distractions can help increase your team’s level of quality productivity.
Professionalism is so important when developing a successful sales team. Punctuality, preparedness and follow-through are all key to achieving sales quotas and getting referrals. With the advancement in technology, it is very easy to look up a company’s track record. Customers are always shopping around for services. Maintaining a high level of professionalism amongst your sales team will guarantee a reputation that customers can rely on, therefore beating the competition and increasing sales. Increasing your team’s ability to care, communicate well and be committed to customers can increase their professionalism.
A successful sales team must include balance throughout different aspects of life. Having a good work ethic does not mean working until you burn yourself out. A good work ethic means you know your needs and how to take care of yourself. Staying healthy, sleeping well and knowing your limits and priorities are all important aspects to staying balanced and allowing you to give your best in the workplace.
As managers, it is important to reinforce the importance of balance with your sales team so they are always ready to deliver their best work. Using the 80/20 rule can help employees stay balanced. This rule indicates that 20% of your activities result in 80% of your results. It’s important for employees to analyze their day-to-day activities and recognize their hardest tasks, which are usually the most valuable. Starting with and accomplishing those tasks will leave your team more free time to complete everything else while making sure the most critical part of their day is complete.
As Maya Angelou said, “Nothing will work unless you do.” Get to know your sales team and train them consistently and efficiently. Work on helping them develop good habits and a strong work ethic and success is guaranteed.