And last but definitely not least, this 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 Fan customers by going above and beyond the basics. 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 and 3) Deliver plus 1%. The third principle is the one in stole for my own Guiding Principles. To me it’s about setting the bar at a high but attainable level and then once you reach that bar, not setting another higher bar and create another mountain to climb but instead focusing on getting 1% better every day.
As in all of my Guiding Principles this one is relevant to Sales, business and life. As Sales professionals we are mainly measured on numbers and whether or not we hit our quota. This is an area we can always improve on but 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 business trends and stay up to date on current events so we can be educated and have 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 every once in a while. 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 I needed to be 50% better than I was today in less than 2 months I’d look at them sideways. However, if I focus on getting 1% better every day then 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 that 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. Good luck and happy selling.