14 Behaviours of Poor Performers

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

1. They don’t set targets

Poor performers do not like to set targets. They think it is too stressful. When they are “forced” to set targets, they either set the minimum target or they set a target they think their managers want them to set. Even if they set targets, nobody knows. They keep it a secret all to themselves.

2. They don’t keep track on their activity numbers

All great sales organizations have some kind of activity tracking system. I use the Sales Builder system developed by GAMMA. Poor performers feel that it is a chore and a waste of time to track numbers and ratios. They hate recording and reporting these numbers as they think it is management’s way of controlling them.

3. They use their feelings to evaluate the success of each appointment

While top performers have clear objectives for each meet up, poor performers have no definite objectives. They go by their feelings. Their only objective is to feel good about themselves.

4. They think that a great sales presentation will get the case closed

While top performers know that to close a case, a problem must be identified, poor performers think that a “great” presentation will help them open and close a case. Even when the prospect is uncooperative or unreceptive, poor performers will “force” the presentation through without regards and hope that the presentation will “do” the job.

5. They do not clarify

Poor performers are not comfortable in asking questions. Especially to clarify certain issues when they are unclear what their prospects mean. Instead, they prefer to assume. And vise versa, they tend not be clear with what they say, hoping their prospects will assume what they mean in a positive manner.

6. They are slaves to their emotions

Poor performers feel that they are unable to control their emotions. They let their emotions control them instead. Top performers understand that they can change how they feel by interrupting their current emotional state so as to put them in their strongest and most resourceful emotional state. Poor performers prefer to let their emotions dictate their actions.

7. They fail to follow up closely

While top performers take a proactive role in following up with their prospects, poor performers tend to take a back seat in following up. They prefer their prospects to follow up with them.

8. They are loners or they only mix with other poor performers

Poor performers are uncomfortable around top performers. They prefer to share their disaster stories with other poor performers. They engage in “pity parties”. Top performers however understand the importance of mixing with the right people. Top performers go out of their way to learn, observe and get to know other top performers.

9. They do not upgrade themselves

Poor performers feel that upgrading is a waste of time. Top performers know the importance of upgrading themselves. They are willing to take time off their schedule, and pay top dollars to attend seminars and courses.

10. They are inconsistent and ill disciplined

Top performers understand the importance of consistency. Top performers are disciplined in keeping to their schedule. Poor performers on the other hand are victims to their circumstances. There is always a reason for not waking up early, or not keeping to their schedule, and it is always someone else’s fault.

11. They take advice from the wrong people

Top performers know the value of getting good advise from experts in their industry. Poor performers tend to take advise from other poor performers. This is the classic “Blind Following The Blind”.

12. They do not have accountability

Poor performers are never accountable for whatever that happens to them. It is always someone else’s fault. They tend to complaint, blame, and then justify their actions. Top performers on the other hand understand that they must be accountable for whatever happens to them…. even if its not their fault.

13. They live in their comfort zone

Top performers are comfortable being uncomfortable. They understand that to grow, they must stretch themselves, and this stretch can be uncomfortable in the immediate term. Poor performers tend to stay within their comfort zone, and do things that they are familiar with, even when these things do not bring the results they desire.

14. They hope for the best and expect the worst

Poor performers pride themselves as being realistic. But this “private reality” is actually negativity in disguise. Top performers expect to do well. They understand the importance of being in a supportive mental state; and “expecting the worst” does not put you in an optimum mental state to perform.


The above are the most common traits of poor performers. Do any of them describe you?

The good news is, every sales person can improve his or her sales performance just by doing the opposite. These behaviours are learnt, thus they can be unlearnt. The first step to improving your sales performance is to be aware of these performance-robbing behaviours.

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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