There’s a TV show on HGTV called What Not to Wear.  Stacy and Clinton host and work with someone nominated from friends/family for a makeover.

It’s fascinating to watch the transformation over the four day process.  And there IS a process to the transformation:

  1. Video footage taken by friends/family is shown to the person for them to become aware of what others see.
  2. A 360 degree mirror is used with the hosts assessing what works for them and what doesn’t. The mirror allows the guest to really see themselves from all angles.
  3. What’s helpful about watching the show is they not only show the ‘guest’ what NOT to do, they lay out simple ‘rules’ for them to apply with their clothing choices.
  4. Finally the guest can choose to adopt the new rules and look as they shop and then head home for a welcome party where they show their new look to their friends and family.

As a business/sales coach I watch transformations happen much more slowly.  Though the process is the same to building or breaking a habit.  A

  • Awareness
  • Assessment
  • Application
  • Adoption

These four steps are necessary to get to the end result – adopting a new habit or skill!  You might not have a skilled coach bringing you along the way – and the process can be uncomfortable – the key is to get through it and stick with it.

So, what can you do with the 4 A’s?

  1. Awareness – observe successful salespeople. What are the actions and attitudes they have?  Make a list.
  2. Assessment – open yourself to honest feedback from others. Manager, peers who see you in action, customers.  Ask them for feedback on what you do and what you should not continue to do.  (If you would like a short, free assessment to look assess – email me at – I’ll be happy to send you a 80 question assessment you can use as a baseline.)
  3. Application– decide on WHAT you need to do – and do it!  Act on the feedback.
  4. Adoption– this happens with time, repetition and reinforcement. Ongoing application of the right actions will lead you to consistently adopt them.

To truly adopt or break a habit takes between 21 and 35 days (depending on the study) – plan for 4-6 weeks of concentrated efforts.  The payoff?  In sales, 4-6 weeks of the right actions will bring more sales!