Move the Needle: Habits

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A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a CEO who had hired me to coach his sales team. After about six months of training, he asked me the following question, “CJ, I think everything is going great, but I want the team to read this new book on how to close the deal that one of my friends recommended. What do you think?”

Before I told him my thoughts, I reminded him that I was committed to constant improvement, and typically, I would completely support the concept of reading a new book.

However, in this case, I felt adding this book to our training would be a bad idea.

Selling, like just about everything in business, is a simple system that can be mastered by anyone who is committed to developing the habits necessary to succeed. The problem is that very few sales people have the discipline to master the fundamentals.

So, instead of analyzing their current approach and recognizing that they are failing to follow the process, most struggling sales professionals look for a new book or tactic that will make sales quicker and easier.

Guess what? This book doesn’t exist.

It’s just like weight loss. You can go and buy “The 17-Day Diet” and get mad on day 22 when you are still overweight, or develop the habits (exercise, eat healthier) that always lead to success.

Unfortunately, people, including me, get bored working on the fundamentals. So, when these fundamentals don’t deliver the results instantly, people give up and try something new – and more fun. That’s why the gym parking lot is half as full in February as it was in January.

Here’s the best advice I can give you – resist the urge to add anything new until you have mastered the fundamentals.

For example, if your sales are struggling, resist the urge to invest in an expensive new advertising campaign. Instead, make sure you are exceeding your current client’s expectations and then ask them for referrals. Once you have designed systems to ensure this takes place every day, then, and only then, should you consider a new marketing campaign for lead generation.

This applies to every challenge in your business or personal life.

As with most things in life, intellectually speaking, this is easy. All you need to do is choose to execute.

Choose wisely.

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