You Need to Execute What You Already Know

It is rare that I use my Sunday newsletter as a blog post, but this idea is so important, I don’t want you to miss it if you aren’t subscribed.

Every week I receive emails, direct messages, and LinkedIn messages from salespeople who ask me questions. They want to know what book they should read to next, the book that is going to finally give them the one thing they need to produce breakthrough results. They ask me to tell them what the most important stage of the sales process is, and how they can get better at that one thing. Sometimes they ask even more specific questions about what the three most important discovery questions might be.

They’re searching for the single answer that will generate better results as if there is a single book, a most important stage of the sales process, or a set of three perfect questions that cover discovery in all situations, all industries, and universally applicable to all prospective clients anywhere. These things are situational, and there isn’t a single answer.

Because there is so much noise on the social channels and so very little signal, there is a growing tendency to believe that the next piece of information is going to be better and more important than the last, that what is missing is another idea, another concept, or another approach.

For most people, better results in sales (and almost anything else, as I have yet to find an exception) is execution. But execution isn’t sexy. It doesn’t allow you to believe that there is an easier way to produce the result that you want. Nor does execution suggest that there is some piece of missing information that would solve your problem, allowing you to produce the result you want with less effort, in less time, and with greater ease.

Execution doesn’t set up a straw man as a way to seduce you into believing that the reason you struggle to produce the results you want is because the most effective way to do what is necessary is old, outdated, and has been replaced by new methods (most likely, technology). That type of noise reminds me of the time management programs that promise to help you find 8 more hours in your week, somehow providing you with 176 while the rest of us make do with 168.

What if you don’t need new information? What if there isn’t one part of the sales process that is more important than the others and requires more of your attention? What if you know everything you need to know and the real gap between your goals and your current performance is that you are simply not executing what you know you need to do and are instead allowing yourself to be seduced by promises that it could be easier for you?

Your 2018 results are going to be made up of how well you execute against what you believe to be most important. If you need more information, go get it. But if you aren’t executing what you already know you need to do, don’t do anything before you execute.

Happy New Year! One week in the books already.

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Filed under: Psychology

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