December 31

Are You Training for Sales Excellence or Just “Trying” for Sales Excellence?


I recently read John Ortberg’s book, “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.”  This is not a sales book, however, many of his thoughts and teachings align perfectly with what it takes to be excellent in sales. One of the key teachings from the book is: 

“There is an immense difference between TRAINING to do something and TRYING to do something. You can’t run a marathon, even if you try really, really hard without training. You must arrange your life differently in order to train.”

Well said. I’ve seen way too many salespeople, including myself, trying to be good at sales. However, we haven’t rearranged our lives to actually train and become good at sales. Like an individual training for a marathon, salespeople must rearrange their lives, dedicate time, install new habits and decide to train in order to become masterful at winning sales.

Here’s a few examples of trying versus training.  (Please feel free to send me a few thoughts of your own.)



To have a positive attitude. Be optimistic.

Wake up 30 minutes early. Write down and review positive thoughts of gratitude and affirmations. Review the list again before going to bed.

To be more effective at asking questions.

Write down fundamental consulting questions. Reach out to your boss or colleague and role play 30 minutes each day for one month.

To become a subject matter expert.

Shut off the radio or TV. Read 30 minutes every day on a topic that will improve your business acumen and selling skills.

To be more consistent in execution of sales activity.

Meet with a coach or accountability partner at the end of the week to review activity plan, goals and accomplishments.

To be more organized.

Enroll in a productivity course and learn the basics of time management. Turn off the physical alerts that create distraction. Set aside 45 minutes at the end of each week to plan the following week.

There is a difference between trying and training.  Apply the emotional intelligence skill of self-awareness and ask yourself the tough question.  

Are you training for sales excellence or trying for sales excellence?

Good Selling!


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