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Doing What We’ve Always Done, When Everything Else Has Changed

by David Brock on January 28th, 2019

I’m constantly amazed conversations I have with otherwise smart people.

Usually, they start with some sort of challenge they are having:

  • We aren’t growing at the rate we need to grow.
  • We aren’t hitting out numbers.
  • The markets have changed dramatically.
  • Our competition has changed.
  • Our customers are changing.
  • Our budgets are smaller, we don’t have the resources we used to.

There are number of issues people identify. Once they have done that, I ask, “What are you doing about those things?”

Usually, there’s a long pause in the conversation. Sometimes people say:

  • We’ve upped the pressure on our people to work harder.
  • We’ve increased activity levels.
  • We are introducing new technologies and tools to get our people to be more productive.
  • We’re doing more training, building the skills of the people.
  • We’ve asked marketing to do a lot more.

Usually, these responses all have the same thing in common, they are doing more of what they have always done, hoping for a different outcome. Whether it’s more volume, higher velocity, more intensity, the focus is always on doing more of what they have always done, better.

At some point that breaks down. The things we have always done, perhaps the things that have become habits, no longer serve us. They are no longer as effective as they used to be.

I’m constantly amazed, while everything around them is changing, while what sales professionals do is drive their customers to change; too many sales people and leaders are doing the same things and not recognizing the need to change.

When what we do no longer seems to be working or isn’t effective, isn’t it time to change?

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One Comment
  1. Joel Lyles permalink

    | At some point that breaks down. The things we have always done,
    | perhaps the things that have become habits, no longer serve us. They
    | are no longer as effective as they used to be.

    I’m reading ‘Way of the Wolf’ right now and while it’s fascinating getting in Belfort’s head, I can’t help but wonder if the underlying philosophy poisoned sales. Jordan focuses on getting past resistance and getting into a customer’s comfort zone, where you then focus on the pitch. There’s little in there about solving problems or understanding your customer’s needs. Apparently this guy and his proteges are stinking rich, though, so who am I to complain?

    Well, I am complaining. People aren’t stupid and reps still in the business are left holding the bag after decades of that philosophy.

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