Are You Tolerating Sales Underperformance For Too Long?

 In Rural Sales Training, Rural Strategy

I’m noticing a disturbing trend: an increasing tolerance of underperformance by underperforming leaders who have have sat in their jobs for too long.

It’s not just in sports or Ian Foster and the All Blacks (who at time of writing have just suffered their first two test series loss on home soil since 1994, the latest being to Ireland).

I saw it again this week with 2 rural companies who have tolerated sales underperformance in themselves and their sales and marketing teams for far too long.

It’s hurt them, their business and their own reputations.

Let me share a simple truth with you:

In life, you get what you tolerate.

If you tolerate poor sales performance for too long you are signalling that it’s ok or somehow acceptable.

It’s also the quickest, fastest way to lose your high performers.

They and their hard work won’t carry under-performers.

Performance is an expectation you set.

What you expect you get.

You want results and you want wins.

The problem with poor performance is when it starts at the top.

Those that are supposed to hold others accountable don’t hold themselves to account.

They blame everything and everyone except themselves.

They tolerate mediocrity.

They dodge the hard decisions.

They don’t make the big calls through fear of rocking the boat – or admitting choices they made they got wrong.

This fear is ego based and borne out of insecurity.

A true leaders shows vulnerability because they are sure of themselves.

It’s a strength rather than a weakness.

They admit when they make mistakes.

The best leaders take complete responsibility for their situation and then take action to put it right.

They don’t pass the buck.

They don’t blame others or external circumstances.

Those are just poor excuses.

Poor performance must come with consequences.

They say “I have failed my team and this is the strategy I am going to use to put it right so it never happens again”.

When a team see their leader do this, they follow.

When a leader doesn’t do these things, they lead by going for a lonely walk with no followers following them.

That’s not leadership because leaders lead.

So how will you lead your sales team?

Will you set high expectations for yourself first and foremost?

Will you then set clear and fair expectations for those you are responsible for?

Remember, you get what you tolerate.

Setting the standard starts with yourself.

Others will then follow which will lift the bar for everyone.


I am on a mission to help rural business owners, sales managers and rural reps get the respect and results they deserve.

Please make sure you Follow Me here on LinkedIn so you don’t miss any of my articles.

P.S. Whenever you’re ready…here are 4 ways I can help grow your rural business:

1. Grab a free copy of my book – it’s the roadmap to help you make more rural sales quickly and easily. Download your free copy here 

2. Join our How To Master Rural Sales Psychology Group – a private Facebook community where I share a ton of free training tools, videos and resources almost daily. Join here

3. Sign up for our Rural Sales Success™ Programme – we will teach you and your team how to become rural sales legends. Email me back with the word “SALES” and I’ll send you the details.

4. Work with me – if you’d like to work with me and smash your 2022 sales goals, email me back with the word “WORK” and tell me a bit about what you do and what you need help with most.

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