This year I decided to focus on generating new sales for our company. Finding new customers. Introducing them to our products. Finding a way to get them to sell our great tasting snacks.
Here we are, five months into the year, and I have not made a lot of progress. Some small wins, but nothing that consistently generates one to three new customers per week. So I decided to write down on a white board everything I did, since the start of the year, to generate new sales.
What was surprising about the list I wrote down was that I had actually done a lot of things. Eight things to be exact. I thought this was pretty good in about 22 weeks. In fact, I could see myself setting up the things I listed on the board and approximately when.
Stepping back to reflect on what you have done is quite worthwhile. During this quiet time of looking at the list on a white board, I realized that all I had done was acquire five more tools for sales, participate in a trade show and add a broker that actually have gotten me new sales, and went back to an old customer and showed them our new products.
The five tools perplexed me at first. Acquiring them felt so good. Like I was making progress on my goal of generating new sales. But that wasn’t true. No new sales were being generated. My actions, necessary to acquire the tools, did not lead to any result.
More importantly, I had confused in my own mind the acquisition of a tool as being the result. What I should have been focused on, is what result do I want the tool to generate and then figure out what I need to do with the tool to get to that result. I never put the time into the tool to figure out how to best use it to generate new sales for our company.
How many times of you failed to reflect on whether your action was tied to a result? Or whether your action got you to the result you wanted?
We all are seduced by activity. Activity always makes us feel good. Especially when we think, naively, that it will produce the result we want without further effort.
I have fallen into this trap, hundreds of times. You most likely have too. The great thing about life, this morning the sun is shining again. This reminds us that our day is in front of us allowing us to take the next step regardless of where we ended the night before.