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The Search For The Silver Bullet

by David Brock on December 18th, 2015

Human history is filled with stories and myths about the search for something “easy.”  It goes back to the very beginning of human-kind, all our religious texts–regardless of religion are filled with stories of both the search for miracles and miracles created.  In grade school, many of us learned about Ponce de Leon’s search in the “New World” for the Fountain of Youth.

Every day, regardless of channel, we are pummeled with endless messages about miracle cures, magic elixirs, get rich quick schemes, lose fat/gain fitness.  Most offered in 3 convenient payments, all ending in  $__9.99.

Billions, perhaps trillions are spent by consumers on these things, sometimes they help a little, too often they fail.  Yet people are resilient, so when one fails they move on to the next and the next and the next.

To be fair, some move us in the right direction.  I still don’t have the 6-pack abs and massive chest like the picture in my Gym, but I’m almost to a 2-pack with hope of getting to more.  But I do know I more fit and healthier, even if the “promise” of 6-pack abs and a massive chest aren’t likely.

Since it seems to be in the nature of humans to search for short cuts, the way to do something without putting in the effort; it isn’t surprising that sales and marketing people fall victim to the same kind of thinking.

We seem to believe if we have just the right content, the right email title, the right tool, the right analytics, the right training program, the clever response to an objection, the right closing technique, the most provocative and insightful insight—-if we had just that one thing, executed it well, every customer would immediately succumb, pulling out and signing PO’s.

It’s somewhat ironic the amount of time, effort, and money we invest in searching for those Silver Bullets.  We work hard to find these miracle cures to market share, revenue growth, and profitability!

And there is no end of people and companies making the promise that if we read their book, take their training course, use their tool, or buy their services, and all your challenges to customer engagement and revenue growth will be solved.

If I’m to believe just half a dozen of the emails I received this morning, cumulatively, I can grow my revenue by at least 379% in the next 12 months (based on their experience and reference customer results).

At this juncture, you might be thinking I’m going to shred all these approaches and ideas, that I’m going to talk about the sheer foolishness of chasing the miracle cure for sales growth or looking for the silver bullet that drives close rates.

Quite the contrary, I believe there is a silver bullet to being successful in engaging our customers, driving market share, and making your numbers.

Drum roll please…….

Do The Work!

That’s it, the secret to sales and marketing success (probably business and individual success as well) can be captured in 3 words—Do The Work!

Yet that’s what we seem to avoid.  In our quest for short cuts, quick fixes, we are trying to avoid doing the work.

The answers have always been in front of us.  There are tons of great ideas, resources, tools—yeah, you have to sort through the garbage—but there are lot of things that help us.  But we still are required to do the work.

Buying a marketing automation system doesn’t magically increase customer response, engagement, lead quality.  But it can help us if we do the work.

Analytic tools can help us think differently, improve our targeting, and drive results.  But if we don’t challenge ourselves with the tough questions, if we don’t test the output of the models, if we don’t constantly refine, then leverage the results, they don’t help us.

Training can be fantastic–if we use it and managers constantly coach, reinforce.

Sales enablement tools, whether they are playbooks, computer/mobile based tools, or other things help improve our results—but only if we do the work.

There is a silver bullet.  It stares us in the face every day.  It’s been doing that for millennia.

Ironically, we invest a lot of time, put in a lot of effort and work in avoiding it.

Perhaps, it’s worth a try.

I promise you it will produce results!  I promise you market share will increase, I promise you revenues and earnings grow.  I promise you that more people will be making quota and your whole company will be more successful.

Simply, Do The Work!

I couldn’t end this pitch without a special offer.  Send me a check/payment for $9.99 and I’ll send you a 3×5 index card with the words “Do The Work,” scrawled on it.  I’ll even autograph it.  You can frame it, stick it in your notebook, tape it to the wall, put it in your purse or wallet.  I promise to make my scrawl as legible as possible, but you know the 3 words already–Do The Work.

Order within the two weeks of the date of this post, I’ll include another copy that you can give to your people, a friend or your manager (or you can just photocopy it).  All proceeds go to Charity:Water.

(For those who may be more literal, please realize my tongue is planted deeply in my cheek on this special offer.  But do feel free to contribute to Charity:Water, they are an outstanding organization.)

  1. Really good Dave! So relevant and I got a great chuckle to boot! Thanks.

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