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Guiding Principle: Get 1% Better Every Day
By John Barrows | August 9, 2016

My 12th Guiding Principle has helped me stay focused on continuous improvement without getting overwhelmed. I took this from the book “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard. The book is focused on creating raving customers by going above and beyond the basics.

Blanchard says there are three main principles:

  1. Decide what you want and create your vision
  2. Discover what the customer wants and what their vision is
  3. Deliver, plus 1%.

The third principle is the one I borrowed for my own Guiding Principles. To me, it’s about setting the bar at a high, but attainable level. Once you reach that bar, don’t set another, higher bar and create a mountain to climb. Instead, focus on getting just 1% better every day.

As with all of my Guiding Principles this one is relevant to sales, business, and life. As sales professionals we are mainly measured on numbers and on whether or not we hit our quota. This is an area where we can always improve. There are plenty of other things we can do to move us forward and help us keep sane when we don’t hit our quota: read a book, take a class on your own dime, try a new approach, read a case study. In business we can educate ourselves on trends and stay up-to-date on current events so we can have smart, topical discussions. In our lives we can spend the extra hour with our kids or take the time to shut off the TV and have a real conversation with our spouse. My number one recommendation for anyone getting married is to make sure their wedding day is not the best day of their relationship and to make every day better than the day before. Talking about the “glory days” and how great you or things used to be is pathetic and everyone knows it.

The reason focusing on 1% has been so powerful for me is because if someone were to tell me that in less than 2 months I needed to be 50% better than I was today, I’d look at them sideways. However, if I focus on getting 1% better every day, guess what happens in 50 days? I can make one more cold call tomorrow, come in 30 minutes early, stay 30 minutes late, do one extra push up, run one more mile, etc. I look myself in the mirror at the end of every day and ask myself “Am I better today than I was yesterday?” If the answer to that is “No” then I figure out what I need to do to answer that question with a “Yes” tomorrow.

Get better every day. #MakeitHappen

P.S. If you want to get better at prospecting, sign up for my online portal here. If it doesn’t work I’ll work with you directly until you see results.

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