HARDISON’S TIPS – NOVEMBER 2, 2021 – Peer Pressure is Just What the Doctor Ordered (PT.1)
For parents of an adolescent, peer pressure has a very negative connotation. However, from a sales person’s perspective, peer pressure can be extremely productive. The win/lose nature of sales creates a competitive environment. The ability to measure results and develop objective ranking systems only supports that notion. While striving to be the top performer is motivational, alone it isn’t sufficient to ensure long term sales success.
There is another more constructive form of peer pressure created by joining a peer group with other sales people that can have a very positive impact on your development as a sales professional. Participation comes with the challenge of growing with the group. The purpose is to improve and you have to be willing to change. The group doesn’t apply peer pressure in the normal context of forcing people to do things they might not want to do. The pressure comes from wanting to keep up with the rest of the members.
These groups can take any form. It can consist of other reps from your company or it can be professionals from other industries. While it helps to meet in person, one of the most effective groups I’ve ever worked with involved people from all over the country. We held a weekly conference call on Friday afternoons. Every member reviewed their week and got a chance to bring up account issues, highlight a topic for discussion, or share something they thought was noteworthy. A sales peer group provides many benefits. In a sales peer group, you can:
If you’re at a loss as to how to move an opportunity forward, the peer group provides a resource to explore alternatives. Sales people tend to face common problems. If you are stuck on an issue with a prospect, the chances are that one of the other members of your peer group has found a solution. They will be able to share their experiences and offer suggestions as to the best way to get your opportunity moving forward.
Many reps hate to role play. In most cases, the role play is being directed by their sales manager, and this evaluation creates anxiety. The peer group provides a safe alternative to practice your skills. By definition, every member of the group is a peer so there are no career implications related to your performance. Your peers will provide honest feedback in a constructive manner.