There is great honor in being the first one to do something—the first one to climb a mountain, the first one to conduct an innovative medical procedure, the first one to discover a species or a land mass. Being the first one can bring fame, recognition, and wealth. But there is also great risk.
It is much safer to wait for others to lead the way. To be the first comes with unsavory side-affects. You may be laughed at. There will be those that doubt your ability to succeed. You could lose your job, your reputation, and your faith.
Businesses are filled with people who avoid risk. Risk is bad. Keeping your head down is good. No need to stick your neck out. It’s way safer to remain in the middle of the pack. The middle of the pack is perfectly fine and safe for most people. But for people who run businesses or business units, for people whose decisions on strategy and tactics determine whether the company merely survives or thrives, for people who truly want to make a difference, to those people, “whether you’re a leader or a follower” matters.
You’ll never outsmart your competition when you deploy the same technology, techniques, and talking points as they do. You’ll never get a promotion or bring recognition to your team if you don’t do something spectacular that sets you apart. To be spectacular is to be different. Do you encourage your employees to be different, to do different? Are you encouraged to be or do different?
Your prospects, especially, need encouragement. They’re more likely to want to remain safely tucked in the middle of the pack which, of course is problematic for you the seller. Middle of the pack runs on status quo.
Why should your prospects be willing to stick their neck out? What’s their motivation to take responsibility instead of deniability? Why should they not settle for mediocrity? If you’re a seller, you better be good at answering these questions. If you are, then you’ve stepped outside of the pack yourself. You’ve searched for new and better ways to get in front of prospects. You’ve taken the risk to do something you’re uncomfortable doing. You’ve decided its high-time to try something different. And that’s what makes you different.
Nancy Nardin is the foremost expert increasing sales productivity through the use of tools. As President of Smart Selling Tools, she consults with many of the top sales productivity software vendors as well as end-user organizations looking to select the right tools. Click to get Nancy’s What & When weekly digest with invitations to complimentary webinars and informative publications. Follow Nancy on Twitter @sellingtools or subscribe to her Sales Productivity blog. Nancy can be reached at 916-596-3035. To schedule a free 30 minute consultation click here.