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  • Brett Zalaski

How Can I, Me, Help Create a Positive #SportsBiz Sales Culture?

I wrote a blog this week that exploded from a views and response standpoint. It talked about how to stay engaged and sales active during the work day. I had a few people reach out to say that, while it was helpful, they are just being dragged down by their environment more than their will. And that jives with that I see.

I walk into sales room all year for training and consulting. Some environments I walk into are POPPING. People moving, phones ringing, sales being celebrated.

But many are not. Many environments I walk into are a bunch of sales reps looking at each other to see who's going to make the next call. Managers and Directors in their offices, inaccessible behind closed doors. The reps are boredly passing information off to their fans, as opposed to truly engaging them.

That last circumstance can be really rough. It's hard to be the only one being active...exhausting in fact. So what can you do when you feel the weight of the room is pushing against you? How can you help create a positive culture where one might not exist? Here are 3:

  • Competition: Straight yoinking this from the last article...but I think it's a very individual thing a rep can do that can have a broad impact on culture. Create internal competitions. Rotate them. Have some on call volume. Have some on revenue. Have some on meetings/tours scheduled. Competition creates action. People hate to lose. If they like to lose, sales REALLY isn't for them...regardless the environment. It's tough to lead a quiet room...but masking that in competition can make a quick impact.

  • Sales Book Club: The challenge of a #sportsbiz sales department isn't a love for's developing a love of sales. The more you invest in yourself from a sales standpoint, the more you develop your love of sales, the more active you'll get. And the same goes for everyone on your team. Start a sales book club. Print off sales articles, read them, and then go over them with a partner/group at lunch. The more educated you feel on your job, the more confidence you'll have in doing your job. A rep can lead this just as well as a manager.

  • Grab the Bull by the Horns: I'm not here to always tell you the easiest thing, I'm here to tell you the right thing. If neither of the above work, go to your management team. Describe to them the type of environment you WANT to be in. If they don't seem to care to make that happen...leave. Your career and your development is WAY too important to have time wasted on people that don't match your energy or ambition. Someone will appreciate you for that desire. It's easy to stay and complain about it. It's harder to take action against it...but your long-term will 100% benefit from it.

You can never get time back. Waiting for a bad environment to change can feel burdensome, but sitting in it, and complaining about it, will not solve the problem. Nor will you develop and grow because of it. Take small actions to hopefully start to affect change...then take a big action if nothing works. Your career, your development, and your psyche is too important to sit...and sit...and hope...and hope. That's why, and as a 50% Irishman, I love the quote on the right. Analysis paralysis. We spend a lot of time thinking and wishing...because the action is hard. But, if hard work wasn't involved, it probably wasn't worth it.

Want to know a truth about me? If I'm not challenged, I'm lazy. I think a lot of us are that way. Some of the biggest negatives in my career came because of personal and professional complacency. You don't have to take massive actions...but keep finding ways to move forward. And if your environment won't move forward...move past them. It's YOUR career and YOUR life.

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