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Shifting From “I Have To…” To “I Get Too…”

by David Brock on May 26th, 2022

Recently, I was having a conversation with an outstanding sales leader and friend, Robyn Wiseman. Periodically, we get together to exchange ideas. These conversations follow a familiar format; we talk a little about her team and what they are doing, sometimes there’s a little coaching, but mostly it’s recognition of the great job they are doing. What’s fascinating about Robyn and her team is they focus on basic, disciplined execution. No tricks, just focus on the fundamentals and creating value based conversations with prospects and customers.

Then our conversation shifts to exploring other topics. In this conversation, I wanted to discuss Innovation. We’re developing some programs around how we help our customers innovate. Since Robyn and her team sell basic materials to medical device manufacturers, much of their strategy is based on how to help customers innovate.

At one point in the conversation, Robyn shifted the conversation to mindset. She talked about the joy she and her team get in these conversations with customers. As we talked, at one point she talked about how important mindset is. She said, “I always feel like, ‘I get to…,’ rather than, ‘I have to….'”

This principle, “I get to…,” is so important to our success in any job, but particularly in selling and management.

Too often, I encounter sales people or leaders with an “I have to…,” mindset:

  • “I have to do more prospecting….”
  • “I have to close this deal…”
  • “I have to go into this meeting with the customer…”
  • “I have to figure out how to differentiate our offering….”
  • “I have to defend our price….”
  • “I have to work on building my pipeline…”
  • “I have to do these reviews with my people…”
  • “I have to work on building the capabilities of this team…”

And with this mindset, too often, we go through the motions, but not really achieving what we could.

As I reflect on my various selling and leadership roles, I’ve always reflected on what a privilege these opportunities are, how they bring such joy to my life. Even today, people ask, “Why are you working your ass off like this, you don’t need to….” My response is, “But I get to…. I can’t imagine anything more fun than to work with these smart people addressing very challenging issues….”

It’s amazing how just changing one word has a profound impact on our mindsets, how we approach work, and getting the most meaning out of what we do.

Try reframing everything you do, moving from, “I have to…,” to “I get too…”

Thanks for reminding us Robyn! (BTW, you and your team get to build your pipeline for the coming year 😉 You know how perverse my humor is.)

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