Recently, an experienced sales professional asked me to detail how she could go about thinking purposefully about whether or not she had delivered her absolute best to her customer. This is another one of those questions that’s simple and complex all at the same time. (SIMPLEX)
In many cases, we have come to believe that thinking is something that happens automatically when we are faced with a situation, question or problem. On-going research involving the human brain shows that specific words and stimuli generate immediate response activity even before we consciously think and formulate the words we will speak.
While your brain generates an immediate response, a sort of first take, purposeful thinking requires that we use our brain deliberately to produce thoughts, judgment and reason. In order to purposefully think, we need a starting point for our brain: A place where it all begins.
When thinking about what it takes to deliver your absolute best, we need to define an approach (Process) along with the simple and practical actions (SIMPLACTION) you can take to advance the understanding, application and measurement of your absolute best.
The Starting Point
The starting point is self-awareness. As is often the case, we cannot see ourselves through our own situations or circumstances. We have to definitively understand and accept how our customers and those that we work with see and perceive us. Discipline of thought and self-awareness at this level leads us to think and reason in terms of the customer’s view (external), other’s view (external) and our view (internal). A lack of thought discipline and awareness changes the measure of your absolute best to the measure of your intended or delusional best.
SIMPLACTION: With self-awareness as the objective – consider the gaps, as you currently see them, between the external and internal views. Understand them as they are and as you desire them to be. Objectively measure, versus justify, the gap between your intention and reality. Be brutally honest with yourself.
The Critical Question
In this case, where it begins is with the critical question. The question is simple enough and yet requires purposeful reasoning and insight. How do I know that I’m delivering my absolute best?
SIMPLACTION: Establish your own critical thought in terms of what it means to deliver, advance or transform your absolute best in 2015.
Definition begins with explaining meaning to bring clarity to your critical question. Delivering your absolute best to your customer and your company means you’re your approach and process stands apart from all other sales professionals. Put in other words, you have established a benchmark of accountabilities, specific to your customer’s needs and wants that set you apart from your competition.
SIMPLACTION: Define what absolute best means to you in specific terms that are practical and measurable. This requires you to think and reason with yourself. Define the three to five actions and accountabilities that are associated with your absolute best.
Clarity comes from the awareness we have of ourselves. The awareness we have of ourselves comes from knowing who we are as a result of our experiences, self-assessment, other’s input and the capacity to consider each of them with clarity and objectivity.
SIMPLACTION: Ask the following two questions of your customers, others that you work with and yourself.
- How do I positively stand apart and separate myself as a sales professional in my actions and approaches that puts me ahead of all others in your mind?
- Where do I stand apart and separate myself in a way that puts me behind other sales professionals in your mind?
Action ahead of Intent
Delivering your absolute best in 2015 remains as a thought or intent unless it is acted on deliberately. While simple in concept, advancing an idea to action is made complex by the requirement of consistency. Consistency is paramount to delivering your absolute best.
SIMPLACTION: Act on the three to five actions and accountabilities that you defined as being associated with your absolute best. Remember that your customers reward repetition. The objective is to move beyond occurrence to consistency. You want those defined actions and accountabilities to become the cornerstone and representation of your absolute best.
The ability to measure provides an awareness of progress. Feedback from our customers and others that we work with is a form of measurement. Measurement that deals with whether or not we are delivering our absolute best can be affirming or intimidating.
Earlier in the article I referenced on-going brain research that shows how specific words and stimuli generate immediate response activity even before we consciously think and formulate the words we will speak.
This research also gives insight into the important of self-measurement in delivering your absolute best. As soon as you consider the words or thoughts associated with your absolute best, your mind has already made a decision before any words are ever spoken.
Having come full circle… Let me encourage you to consider this critical question:
As you prepare to advance into 2015, how will you define, clarify, act on and measure your absolute best for yourself, your customer and Your company?
Brent Patmos is the founder and President of Perpetual Development, Inc., an organizational performance company serving the exclusive needs of privately-held and family-owned business leaders. You can contact Brent via email: ContactPDI@perpetualdevelopment.com or by phone at 480-812-2200. You can follow Brent on twitter – @BrentPatmos and connect with him on LinkedIn.