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Matt Nettleton | Indianapolis, IN

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Last month we had exterminators out to the house; we had been overrun by ants. From a personal standpoint I have never had a fear of bugs, but frankly I am not a fan of ants and really was quite happy to hear the exterminator lay out a plan that involved many ants dying. Of course, the exterminators' plan appealed to me because it used the ants' greatest strength to kill them.

As everybody knows ants are hard workers and given the opportunity they can carry multiple times their weight. Best of all, ants will mindlessly swarm to any sugary substance and carry it back to the nest to feed the colony. The plan was simple. Cover a poison in sugar, put it out where the ants could find it, let them carry it back to the nest, and all of the ants eat the poison and die. The plan worked within three days and our ant problem was over.

As a sales trainer, I get to coach people through their own version of the exterminator's plan. The greatest strength many business owners have is their work ethic. We have seen them work endless hours and produce great results and, just like ants, they have a nose to find fabulous opportunities. Unfortunately, these strengths set owners up for a tough time in business. They assume long hours in sales are productive. They also believe that every big opportunity is great for their company. They send their salespeople out with the orders to "always be closing" and tell them to keep finding the big prospects.

I coach my clients to understand that not everything that looks or tastes like sugar is sweet---not every opportunity qualifies for a sales call. And I help them understand that sometimes big opportunities are the worst. As you manage your sales team, you need to understand that the opportunities that your team brings in can feed your company or kill it. And mindless hard work is probably not the answer. Learning to qualify opportunities and to stop working so hard to close prospects that are poisonous to your organization are the keys to effectively growing your sales. In fact, I can attribute a healthy chunk of my clients' success to "learned laziness."

Want to help your sales team learn to qualify and get better at selecting sales to feed your company?

We should talk.

Contact Matt Nettleton, Sandler Training, DTB at or 317-695-8549.


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