95% is Total Failure

TSAE Failure

Have you ever asked someone what their approach is to a particular endeavor?  It could be any aspect of their work or life: sales, personal development, finances, physical fitness, parenting, spirituality.

You ever hear someone say something like this?  “Oh I do a little of this and a little of that.”

People who are going places don’t do a little bit of anything.

People that win COMMIT and conquer what they set out to accomplish.

This is a sales blog 😉  Let’s talk about sales process.  I’ve seen numerous examples where a person got insanely committed, followed a well defined process to a tee, and subsequently had MASSIVE success.  I’ve seen this happen many times in many places.

I’ve also seen situations where a salesperson picked through a list of good ideas and only chose to adopt the ones they sold to themselves as “doable”, then ended up failing miserably.  The reason was that the vast majority of their activity wasn’t fruitful, even while they tried to incorporate some “good ideas.”

The caveat that comes with only adopting only a few good ideas is this:

You don’t get to say something “doesn’t work” if you’re not willing to do everything being asked of you.  Processes are processes for a reason.

If McDonald’s decided to start skipping steps in their process, they’d either lose customers or get shut down by the health department.   Ironically, its in the process of fully embracing a pursuit, that you ensure its massive success.

I have an extraordinarily intense personal devotion to doing everything I possibly can to set myself and my company apart in the marketplace.  I demand that my teams do the same.  I hold them to an insanely high standard, because I believe there is no other way to do this job.  Why settle for success slowly and run the risk of failure?

On the leading edge, it seems like a ton of “hard work” to make sure we’re accomplishing the entire (formidable) list of activities that set us apart in the marketplace.    Here’s the thing though.  If we devote 100% effort to every single opportunity, then we seem to capitalize on lots more of them.

Contrast this with reps who give 80% as much effort as we do.  They probably close half as much business.

The following example is by no means scientific, but I do believe these are accurate estimates.  Roll with me.

If I do 10 things in my process, and I have a 40% close rate.  I have an effective close/effort ratio of .40 right?

If you do 8 of the 10 things I do, you’re going to have a 20% close rate at best compared to me.  That’s a close/effort ratio of .25

A typical run of the mill salesperson is doing 5 of the 10 things I do.  They have a 10% close rate at best compared to me.  That’s a close/effort ratio of .20

I am getting TWICE the return on EACH of my individual efforts as opposed to a typical salesperson!

Simple math proves its worth it to do EVERYTHING.  There’s no value in half assing it.

I’ve been paying attention to sales situations for more than a decade now and if you are also paying attention, I think you’ll agree these 3 scenarios described above are absolutely in the bounds of reality.  It could vary from situation to situation, but this scale is true.

The above 3 scenarios don’t even factor in long term benefits like enhanced customer happiness and increased account retention that come from doing everything….which are incidentally worth even more than the initial close rate.

Think about it.  What would happen to your income if you simply retained every single (worthwhile) account you ever opened?   Why…you’d be…insanely wealthy.

So why don’t people invest the extra effort?

They’ve never been trained on what to actually do.

They’ve developed a poor philosophy about work ethic and rewards.

They’re lazy.  Some people are just not willing to put forth any effort beyond their comfort zone.

There’s more, but those are the big 3.

So, let’s get introspectively nitpicky together.  Ask a trusted friend if you need feedback.

Do you wear a tie?  The competitor in a polo is now a bit of an asshole.

Are your clothes pressed?  People pay attention.

Do you shine your shoes?  People pay attention.

Is your breath/body odor unpleasant?  People are too afraid/polite to tell you otherwise.

Are you in good physical health?  You can’t perform if you can’t perform…

Do you send a personal note card, in the mail, with a postage stamp after a great first meeting?  No one else does.  I do.  I’ve seen people keep them on their desk for months.

Do you always return customer phone calls in a timeframe that’s exemplary in your industry?  No one else does.

Do you know EXACTLY what to say in common selling situations?  Even the best struggle with this.

Do you absolutely never ever break a personal commitment?  I listened to a client complain about a competitor doing this today.

Have you earned your customers’ trust?  They relax when you say something is going to happen.

There’s at least 20-30 more…and guess what?  They all matter!  Jim Rohn used to say, “There are some things that matter more than others, but there isn’t anything that doesn’t matter.”

So ask yourself, do you do everything you possibly can to win….every single time you interact with a customer?

Are you CONSTANTLY looking for the next competitive advantage to add to your skill set, making you CLEARLY more valuable than the next salesperson that’s going to walk in their door?

100% dedication to excellence and the constant search for the next big thing is the only way to reap all the rewards.  The added benefit is its way too much work for the competition to keep up.  Pretty soon it won’t be worth it to try to sell against you.  They’ll get tired of wasting their time.  🙂

Good selling!


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.