stuck in the middle

3 Reasons Why Being "Stuck In the Middle" Stinks and What To Do About It …

Stuck in the middle!

As far as I am concerned that is the worst possible place to be in your sales career. You aren’t brand new and just starting out so you can’t use that as an excuse any more. And, you can see the guys and gals that are at the top just killing it month in and month out and that drives you nuts!

3 Reasons Why That Stinks!

  • #1 – you know that they aren’t any smarter, faster or more talented than you so why are they always at the top?
  • #2 – you see how they get treated by management, staff, peers and their clients and you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that is a lot more fun than your day to day experience!
  • #3 – you see the lifestyle they live, the homes they own, the cars they drive and the life they provide for their families and you want the same for your life!

And, reality is I could probably have listed a dozen more reasons if we had the time. Bottom line, the middle is one of the most frustrating places for a lot of sales people. Now, if you are happy there then don’t waste your time reading any further. Go and enjoy where you are. But, if you want out?

stuck in the middle

What To Do About It?

I don’t want to oversimplify the answer here but I do want to make it very easy to know what to do, right now, to start making your way out of the middle and head to the top! There are three reasons sales professionals get stuck in the middle, and only 3 reasons.

  1. They don’t know what to do to be successful!
  2. They can’t do what they need to do to be successful!
  3. They won’t do what they need to do to become successful!

That’s it in a nutshell gang! So, where do you start? We have to be brutally honest with ourselves in assessing what is our own personal stumbling block. That said, I always start at the “doesn’t know what to do” step. Here are some action items for you if you are in that category …

Dealing With the “Doesn’t Know” Challenge …

Here are 3 steps you can take today to deal with “doesn’t know”;

  • Find a mentor that is at the top, or heading that way fast, and ask them to help you learn what it takes to be the best. For now, don’t focus on how they do it I just want to understand “what” it is they do. I think you will find it interesting how many top sales pros are glad to help someone along!
  • Ask your boss, “what are the 10 most important things I need to do each day” to get to the top as a sales rep in our company? Before you do that take a little time to write down what you think are the 10 most important things you need to do each day to be successful. I will wager what you think is important is a tad misdirected. You can learn a lot from this exercise!
  • Be willing to accept you don’t know what you are supposed to do or else you would already be at the top or headed that direction. The best of the best all have a number of things in common (see our podcasts and webinars from January 2015 on what it takes to be a sales master)! One of those is that they are continuously learning. They have the virtue of humility and are quick to admit they don’t know everything and that humility makes them open to anything that will help them grow.


In our next blog post we will tackle the “can’t do” challenge. For now, tackle the homework items above and see what you experience …

If you have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section below or go to our “Questions, Answers & Feedback” page at and leave them there.

Now … go do something significant to build the sales career, and life, YOU, want!

jim jacobus, sales process







Jim Jacobus