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Difficult to Measure and Important

In sales (and in business generally) we love to measure things. We want scientific proof that things are working, something we can rely on. So we measure everything. Well, mostly we just count things. But some things that directly impact your results in sales and business are difficult to measure—even though they’re critically important.

Meaningful Interactions: Have you ever had an exceptional interaction with a business? Has someone demonstrated that they cared about you so much that you’ll never forget the incident and forever share it? You may have received a survey of some kind, but there is no real measurement for meaningful interactions, the interactions that change your relationship with the business or salesperson. But they’re critically important.

Rapport: Some people (and many salespeople) have the ability to generate rapport with their clients and prospective clients. They are able to create an immediate connection, and that connection allows them to ask for information and access that someone without rapport would struggle to obtain. If you’ve seen someone with this kind of rapport-building abilities, you know it looks like voodoo or black magic. They have the “know, like, and trust” thing in minutes. But it can’t be measured.

Mindshare: You’ve been nurturing your dream clients. You’ve sent them ideas, case studies, and white papers. You know that they’ve viewed the videos you’ve sent them. You hope that you’re gaining mindshare. But how do you know that you are gaining mindshare over your competitors? How do you measure how much your mindshare is being eroded by the efforts of your competitors? Mindshare matters, but it’s difficult to measure (and clicking links is a measure of clicked links, not mindshare).

Culture and Unit Cohesion: You know it when you’ve got it. Your team runs like a well-oiled machine, you fight above your weight class, and you produce ridiculously terrific results. You know when you don’t have a healthy culture or unit cohesion, too. Things are jammed up. People play politics. Negativity spreads throughout the organization or team. But you can’t measure it; there’s nothing to count. There’s also not too many thing more important to success. (I could easily add leadership or commitment here, but you can’t count either, although I am certain some will try.)

Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t mean that it is important. And because something is difficult to measure doesn’t mean that it’s not. In fact, most of the things that are most important in business and life are hard to measure.

Questions

What are the most important factors in your life or business that are difficult to measure?

What do you pretend is important just because it’s easy to measure?

How do you determine how you’re doing on factors that are difficult—or impossible—to measure?


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