A code of the West for sales pros

Western author Zane Grey named a book after it, but no written “Code of the West” ever existed. Still, every Western settler, cowboy and frontiersman followed unwritten rules that centered on hospitality, fair play, loyalty and respect for the land. Failure to abide by this informal code was often more serious than breaking the formal laws of the local and federal governments.

A similar “code of the West” may well apply to business today. Most businesses involving sales are inundated with regulations and laws about how a sale may proceed. But there are other rules, too — a certain code of fair play, loyalty and respect that exists today, just as it did in the old West. Here’s one version, most of which can be found in Cowboy Ethics by James P. Owens, a book I highly recommend.

Live each day with courage. We are in challenging times and must stay prepared and ready for whatever waits around the corner. With an every changing economy, complacency has no place in the work place. Your best effort in everything you do is the minimum requirement in today’s marketplace.

Take pride in what you do. Every day there are certain daily disciplines that need to be done. Procrastination will lead nowhere. Setting goals on a weekly basis will help keep you on track and help you always finish what you’ve started. Unfinished goals are disappointing. Create a system of checking off your goal list and celebrate each and every victory.

Do what has to be done. Daily disciplines such as prospecting, follow-ups and appointments will mean a continued stream of value business. Set specific times to return emails and voicemails, time block your appointments and commitment time every day specifically for prospecting opportunities.

Be tough and be fair. There are times that you need to stay firm in your business and sales decisions. Always play fair and you will win more opportunities than lose. When you make a promise, keep it. Under promise and over deliver. . Talk less, say more. Do not dominate conversations. Time is money for you and your client. Say what needs to be said and move on. Bring value in every conversation.

Ride the brand. Be proud of your company, your profession and your skills. Brand yourself with excellence and integrity. Remember, some things are not for sale. Never back pedal your deep seated beliefs, your trust, your word and your integrity. They are not negotiable commodities.

Know where to draw the line. Use every sense to guide you in all decisions. Know where to draw the line with the use of your time, talent and treasures. Management of your time and resources is a treasure.

Sales professionals are the pioneers of a precarious economy. Remember some of the other unwritten rules of the old West: Never pass another without saying “Howdy;” complain about the cooking and you become the cook; never steal another man’s horse; and finally, remove your guns before sitting at the dining table — it’s just good manners.

Happy trails and sales to all!
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Categories: Sales & Marketing