Excellence begins with people who engage in building and growing their characters. Pursuing excellence means engaging in backward planning—the salesperson must begin with the end in mind. Salespeople must ask themselves where they want to be and then decide how to get there.

Excellence for salespeople is about “being all that you can be” within the bounds of doing what is right by oneself, one’s organization, and one’s customers. To achieve excellence, salespeople must manage themselves and their time. Managing oneself consists of developing habits that are conducive to success. Managing one’s time requires efficient and effective use of the time available. A person’s agility is enhanced by the discipline to manage oneself and one’s time.


Learning to manage oneself and one’s time requires self-discipline, which in turn requires determination. Determination begins with a purpose or a “calling”—the creation of passion, which drives one toward reaching specific goals.

William J. Bennet, author of The Book of Virtues, defines self-discipline as making a “disciple” of one’s self. In other words, one becomes one’s own teacher, trainer, coach, and “disciplinarian.”1 Becoming disciplined helps salespeople develop and manage their personal and professional goals (their purpose), thus creating order and balance.