Most of my clients come to me with a goal of growing either their company’s sales or their personal earnings. Other than that, they rarely have other goals. At least, rarely do they know how they want to grow. Frequently, they don’t know why they want to grow. More is simply more and that is enough.
One of my first client exercises is an attempt at getting my clients to understand their “why,” their reason for growth. This process is usually a series of questions, forcing my clients to make trade offs and to imagine how they would feel with various outcomes. Understanding their “why” has helped many of my clients to make wiser tradeoffs and to focus their efforts on what they really want.
Unfortunately, not everyone can go directly to discovering their why. Their lives and thoughts are simply too cluttered to make an honest assessment of their lives. While some people aren’t able to see the forest for the trees, some aren’t even able to see the trees yet for all the leaves. Their focus is locked too tightly on the minutia for them to every truly understand their whys. Therefore, I have found that a powerful first step in discovering someone’s reason for growth is to de-clutter their lives, their schedules and their thoughts. I encourage them to aim at small targets, the low hanging fruit, and look at their lives through a DIME mindset. That is look at each task in their lives and Delegate, Improve, Minimize and/or Eliminate. Once they have done a DIME process on their lives, they have more time and energy to focus on the big picture.
I once reviewed a company’s sales team. The team was easily divided into two groups. One was very successful. One was not. After speaking with the two groups, it was easy to see what differentiated the teams.
One team’s general philosophy was, “I made ten calls today. I didn’t make any sales. I’ll call ten more tomorrow.” The other team’s general philosophy was, “I made ten calls today. I didn’t make any sales. I’ll call ten more now.” Can you guess which group was more successful?
Yes. Luck does play a part in success but you can’t control luck. You can control the amount of effort you put into a task and the quality of that effort. The better prepared you are, the less necessary luck is to your success.
This is true in sales and it is true in every aspect of your success.
A number of my clients are either direct marketers or sales professionals. As such, their income depends a large part on members of their teams. Unfortunately, my clients have very little actual control over their team members actions. To serve my clients, I am always trying to learn tools, techniques and actions that help my clients’ incomes soar. Therefore, I read Inflencer by Joseph Grenny.
It is an excellent read. If you have a team or even a need to influence a group of people, including students, patients and co-workers, I suggest reading this book.
Joseph has identified three keys to influence people to achieve great results. These are: 1.) Focus and measure, 2.) Find vital behaviors and 3.) Engage all six sources of influence.
In short, have a motivational goal and think carefully about what you measure, focus your team on the two or three vital behaviors that lead to positive results and then create an environment of personal and social motivation and enablement. I’m afraid you are going to have to read the book to learn more . . . . . . . or become a client.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
for want of a horse the knight was lost,
for want of a knight the battle was lost,
for want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
So a kingdom was lost—all for want of a nail.
This proverb has been around for, at least, 700 years. It does an amazing job of projecting a visual of its message: seemingly minor details can have unforeseen and potentially grave consequences. In this version of the proverb lacking one spare nail to hold on a horse shoe snowballed into an entire kingdom being destroyed. While that may be a little far reaching, there can be no doubt that a small action or inaction can trigger a series of consequences that may have a powerful affect on the outcome.
All this talk of horses and knights may be a little dates. A more modern version could be:
For want of calling a customer the sale was lost,
for want of a sale the client was lost,
for want of a client the month was lost,
for want of a month the quarter was lost,
for want of a quarter the business was lost.
So a business was lost—all for want of calling a customer .
Picking up the phone and making customer calls is frequently listed as one of the most difficult things for a salesperson or entrepreneur to do. Unfortunately, every time a phone call isn’t made, it is like taking a nail away from the knight. Perhaps this particular nail isn’t significant to the business but you will never know that. By the way, emailing or messaging isn’t the same.