Rookies work hard because they have to. They know if they don’t make the cut, they’ll be shown the door. Do you still have your rookie spirit?

Fear of failure drives rookies to study, practice, ask questions, request feedback and simply work harder. Once a rookie fights their way up the learning curve and earns their spot on the team, they often let out a sigh of relief…they’ve made it.

It’s a great feeling and one that is well deserved. Unfortunately, as time passes and they feel more confident about their role, they often become infected with the sense of complacency. They lose the fear that drove them to become a success.

I’m sure we’ve all reached a place where we feel we can dial back the effort a little bit now that our job is secure and we’ve proven ourselves to be competent and valuable. It’s a natural response once the immediate threat is removed.

Yet, many of the great achievers in any field of endeavor from sports, to medicine, to business all have one thing in common. They kept the strong work ethic they developed as a rookie working their way to the top and never stopped working on the basic skills that got them there.

Former UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, is arguably one of the greatest coaches of all time with 10 NCAA titles and 4 perfect 30-0 seasons. You might think that with amazingly talented players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, Wooden might have succeeded by assuming these superstars knew the basics and instead focused advanced strategy to win games.

Quite the contrary. According to his former player, Rich Levin,Coach Wooden started every season with a lesson on how to put on socks and lace up sneakers. You see, he knew that bunched up socks caused blisters and loose sneakers led to sprained ankles, and you cannot win championships with either of those.

So let’s take a moment and think about what we did as a rookie and that helped us become successful, and ask if we are still doing those things today.

Rookies Study

When is the last time you studied your company’s sales literature? How about that of your competitors?

Do you still dedicate a certain time each day or each week to learn about your industry?

Do you talk with people in other areas of your business such as service, accounting, and operations to learn how your business works and how your deals impacts their ability to do their job effectively?

Rookies Practice

When is the last time you wrote and rehearsed a script (or even an outline) for a cold call, a networking introduction, a first meeting or a numbers presentation?

Rookies Are Accountable

Do you still have daily, weekly, monthly activity goals?

Do you track your progress toward those goals?

Do you report your activity (or lack thereof) to anyone?

Rookies Ask For Help

When is the last time you brought a manager (or another top performing rep) on a sales call and then debriefed on your performance afterwards?

Do you still ask someone to break down your important sales opportunities in a “war room” session?

Do you still plan for responses to objections desired outcomes before important meetings?

Rookies Work Harder

Do you block out time each week for prospecting?

Do you still generate your own leads or wait for them to be given to you?

When Doug Drosin worked as my sales manager, we would often observe reps who made the sales trip one year, but failed to qualify the next. He would shake his head and say, “He must have been reading his own headlines…” What he meant was the rep got cocky, and that made him lazy. What happened next is self explanatory. Let’s not let that happen to us.


What did you do to become successful?

Are you still doing it?


Please print this topic and bring it with you to this week’s Sales Growth meeting.

Our next meeting is at 7:30am on Wednesday, June 24th, at the Vita restaurant in Dolce Basking Ridge (300 N Maple Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920). We meet for networking and breakfast at 7:30am and the meeting starts at 8:00am. The cost for the meeting which includes their excellent breakfast (and tip) is $20.00 per person.

Please confirm your attendance by replying to this email or by accepting the calendar invite you received.

Happy selling this week. Remember, it’s an abundant world so focus on building value and detach from the outcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s