What Orange Theory Taught me About Sales

I joined Orangetheory Fitness and it made me think about the sales process. No, that's not a non sequitur..

There I was, sitting on the floor, panting. I knew I could do more, but I started wondering what tomorrow was going to feel like, and the day after... I've been here before, and I know better. As frustrating as it feels in the moment, I know my efforts are part of something bigger, part of a process that I can't hurry.

I enjoy Orangetheory because it different, it's fun, and it's hard. You're given all the data you need in real time to measure your effectiveness, there are benchmarks to hit, and goals to achieve. In many ways, it's a lot like selling. My first real workout in waaaaaay too long actually made me think about the sales process.

I had hit my targets and benchmarks for the workout, but I needed to be aware of where I was in my own physical development. This is my first time back in a formal exercise routine in a while. I'm not supposed to be in peak form. I'm not supposed to be able to crush this workout and ask for more. Maybe I could have really pushed through and done a few more reps, but this process is a marathon, not a sprint, and going overboard so quickly has proven to be counterproductive for me in the past. I'm not there yet, but I will be in due time.

I'm thinking right now about a lot of clients that I work with who are new to their sales job or to selling altogether. They are typically high achievers who are used to success, or business owners who know they have great talents and abilities but just can't seem to put the puzzle pieces together to grow revenues. They're not used to not being really good at something, so when they go out on sales calls and stumble, or when they don't see immediate revenue growth, one of the things that I remind them of is that there is a process that needs to be followed and they're right where they need to be. These mistakes and mishaps, while frustrating, are necessary for their development.

It's easy to measure yourself by your results. It's pretty intuitive, actually, particularly in a straight commission role. A focus solely on the results (or lack thereof) is highly problematic though because despite what you're desperate to believe, you don't have nearly as much control over those results as you'd like. What you do have control over, however, is the process you undertake to generate those results.

So as strange as this may sound, that's how you need to measure yourself.

The old adage that you can’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows is true, and the best way to avoid getting carried away on that emotional roller coaster is to not get on it.

A fundamentally sound process, repeated consistently over time, will yield consistent results over time. So, where are you against your revenue target is less important than where you are in your process.

Listen, results matter. What matters more, however, is the work. You have 100% control over the work you do that should ultimately generate the results that you’re looking for. Do it every day, and the results will come. If they don’t come quickly enough, then look at the amount and quality of the work you’re doing. Recognize that time is a vital ingredient in the recipe. There’s only so much you can do to speed up the process, but when you adjust your expectations to align with your process, you’ll actually have more control over the results you're looking for.

I'm not going to lose ten pounds this week, nor will I dramatically increase any of the other health metrics that will come along with my new gym membership. But I do know that if I show up regularly and get my work done that everything that needs to fall into place will do so. The end game has to be worth the effort, but desperately wanting the outcome will not make it come any sooner.

If you've read this far, you're right where you need to be. Focus on what you can control and trust the process.