Have you ever had an experience in business where you’ve been on top of your sales game for a number of months in a row? Numbers are consistently growing, targets are consistently being exceeded and business is growing predictably?

Grand times, aren’t they?

But many that have experienced this form of ‘business bliss’ will also be able to clearly describe a time when – seemingly all of a sudden – those high-level result started to drop, stagnate or stop all together. And we are left to ask when everything can seem to be going so well one second, what is it that causes them to alarmingly go into reverse so quickly?

The answer is in understanding what happens when we achieve great results through establishing high standards, get comfortable with those results, then subsequently lower our standards through a form of laziness or arrogance.

At any one time, we will either be operating from a place of high standards (let the results roll in!) or low standards (this is tough, let’s complain, blame and justify our results so we feel better about ourselves!) and understanding the difference is key:

The lowest standard is to sit back, wait and hope for the sales to land in our lap.

It’s the standard that suggests that we’ve already done enough for the result to be achieved, well before the result has actually been achieved.

It’s the standard that suggests we should receive the sale from our marketplace before we add the value their way first.

The highest standard, on the other hand, is doing whatever it takes to achieve the goal we set for ourselves as a matter of downright necessity.

It’s the standard that knows the job isn’t done until the target has not only been hit, but new goals have then already been put in place to be achieved moving forward as well.

It’s the standard that takes nothing for granted and remains grateful to continually add value to the marketplace that craves it.

With this in mind, standards become an intriguing concept because we often know when our standards have dropped. We all know the difference between high and low standards and we all know when we’re not operating at our highest efficiency because they’ve slipped.

We don’t need anyone to point it out to us, we can sense it within – and if we take even just a moment to assess what our lowered standards are having an impact on, its alarmingly easy to admit the answers to ourselves.

The key to flipping low standards back into gear?

Being honest with ourselves and understanding that the answer isn’t coming from outside of us. We must remember that in business, no one is coming to save us from ourselves and it is only up to us to start playing a bigger game again.

We must drop the blame, justification and complaining and replace it with responsibility, feedback and focused implementation.

We must appreciate that high standards aren’t for everyone – but for those that do implement them, the rewards on the other side are well worth the hard work. 

So where do you need to raise your standards right now? And what will the impact be on your sales numbers as soon as you do?

Darcy J Smyth is the lead trainer of the Tonal Persuasion Method for Sales, the methodology designed to ensure you are closing sales without the dreaded ‘Hard Sell’ that turns so many buyers away in the modern business landscape.

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