“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word-excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” ― Pearl S. Buck

A few months ago I was giving a demo of our solution WittyParrot to a friend of mine who runs a reasonably large business unit in his company. After a few minutes, my friend was fascinated and wanted to sign up for an account immediately. I was happy that he liked it but as always I asked him what was the major reason for his interest and urgency to sign up.

“Oh… let’s say, it’s because of Jack,” he said.

“Jack?” I asked.

“Let me explain,” he said, “A few months ago we hired a salesperson called Jack.

He seemed to be reasonably good and everyone liked him during the interviews.

However, his lead conversion into sales was very poor and his time to close was way longer than average.

We didn’t know what was happening until one day he left the company and disappeared.

His email was transferred over to Tony who has been with the company for the last two years.

When Tony went over the Sent Emails folder of Jack, we realized what was happening. It was a disaster.

Jack had sent information to prospects that made no sense…. his written communication skills were weak and he was making stuff up about the product.

In sum, we screwed up in our hiring process and also screwed up by not catching this early. 

With a tool like WittyParrot we can hopefully recover ‘jacked’ accounts and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”


This was not the only time I had heard about companies losing deals because someone was sloppy in the outreach or the ensuing follow up communication. It happens in every company and goes unnoticed because nobody is going to willingly accept that they were sloppy in sending that ONE email that started the journey downhill.

We talk about excellence on “meta” items such as leadership, team building, communication, service etc. but really you need to start practicing excellence in small things first before they roll up into big things.

Excellence Happens Daily

If you are on the path of excellence, it happens daily.

For instance, here are some activities that you as a salesperson will do daily, where excellence can be baked in:

  • Outreach email to a new prospect
  • Follow up email or phone call to any prospect or client
  • Coordination emails to colleagues working on a deal
  • Sales presentation deck
  • Presenting to a prospect or client on phone, in person or via an online conference
  • Planning for the next few weeks
  • Researching about a new prospect before an upcoming meeting

The list can go on and with so many distractions around, it is easy to do a “not-so-excellent” job in what seems like small things in the list above.

The Meaning of Your Communication is in the Response you get

One of the fundamental tenets of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that the meaning of your communication is in its response.

You can’t claim that you are “excellent” and not have meaningful results to prove it.

Your current results are a good indicator of the level of excellence that you are demonstrating in your current activities. Lack good results? It is time to look at the quality of input.

The world is giving you feedback on a daily basis.

The problem with most people is that they ignore negative feedback that results in them having to do more work and thrive on feedback that gives them a pat on the back. Feedback is just…feedback and you are the one who is interpreting it.

It is better to face the reality than to morph the feedback to suit your convenience.

Increase the Value and Reduce the Cost

If you can remember the two things when creating anything where someone else (in this case that someone is generally a prospect or a customer) is involved, here they are:

  • It should increase the value for them in someway
  • It should reduce the cost in some way 

If you can do both of them at once, more power to you. Notice that you can’t do either of those without practicing excellence in small things.

Other Posts in this series 

A is for Alignment (title changed on Salesforce.com blog) 
B is for Bonding
C is for Confidence
D is for Detachment
E is for Excellence in Small Things 
F is for Follow Up (On Huffington Post)
G is for Grateful
H is for Hunger to Succeed
I is for Intent to Serve 
J is for Judgment (On Huffington Post)
K is for Knowledgeable
L is for Likeable
M is for Margin
N is for Nurturing (On Huffington Post)
O is for Onward
P is for Please
Q is for Questions (On Huffington Post)
R is for Resourcefulness (On Huffington Post)
S is for Storytelling
T is for Teaching

U is for Upbeat

V is for Velocity

W is for Word of Mouth

X is for X-Ray Vision

Y is for YourStory

Z is for Zeal

eBook: Building Highly Responsive Sales Teams  Download

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>