An executive sales leader that I know well was struggling. No matter what he tried to do, he couldn’t make sales magic happen. Just progressively worse results for 2+ quarters, eek!
When I peeled back the layers to figure out what was going on, he said, “we just need to do more and it will work itself out… activity is always the answer.”
Well, fast forward a few months later and the situation had taken a nosedive along with a pink slip in his hand.
Moral of the story?
Activity is not always the answer, contrary to popular belief. That’s just throwing bodies at a deeper problem that isn’t going to solve itself.
Unfortunately, this mentality has become far too common today. So I want to be loud and clear about this: I refuse to believe that quantity is more important than quality.
This applies to everything by the way – sales, recruitment, personal relationships, exercise, eating, life, you name it!
When you focus on quality, you become more valuable, compel people to engage with you, and drive more business across the board.
Quality beats quantity every time.
How many LinkedIn messages have you received that you knew were automated right off the bat? How does that make you feel?
The whole spaghetti-against-the-wall numbers game irks me to no end.
People who think they’re going to blast out messages to 1000 people every day with an icky, obvious cadence and build sustainable relationships that actually impact their business over the long-term are living in la-la land.
Think about it, you’re never going to connect with busy high-powered executives if you approach it from a quantity standpoint.
As my friend Samantha McKenna says, “show me you know me.” Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to quality engagement that grabs the attention of our buyers in a meaningful way.
If you’re not giving each person the attention and care they deserve, you’re not offering anything to defy the odds and get them to give you the light of day.
But it’s worse than that.
You’re also turning off influential prospects from ever wanting to connect with you in the future.
Spraying and praying is a great way to alienate your potential buyers.
As Maya Angelou said, “people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Isn’t this the truth?!
The results speak for themselves. Yesware research analyzing over 4.5M data points helps us drive this point home and then some:
If you’re playing the quantity game, it’s only about you.
Sales, recruiting, and business are games built on relationships. Being selfish isn’t going to get anyone to work with you.
On the other hand, focusing on quality shows that you’re interested in creating win-win situations for everyone involved.
It sends the right message to the people you want to connect with.
And yes, focusing on quality means that everything will take longer and require a larger upfront investment, but ultimately, you’ll drive significantly better outcomes for your relationships and your business. Think go slow to go fast later…
So for starters, remember to pause and remind yourself that it’s not just about you.
Yes, you have an agenda and goals laid out, but the world isn’t waiting for you to emerge so it can help you achieve what you want.
You have to do the work consistently to prove your worth.
One of the best things that can happen in business is for the person on the other side to understand how you can help them:
- Solve problems
- Get better
- Reach goals
But the only way you’ll ever get their true attention is to earn the right to their time.
The more knowledge you gain, the more you understand, and the more you can confirm or deny when you can truly be helpful.
And once you know you can be helpful that’s when you reduce churn. That’s how you get the deal closed. That’s how you get referrals. That’s what’ll make all the difference.
I say this ALL of the time, but it bears repeating here. Ultimately, people want to be seen, heard, and understood. Do that well and watch your business flourish.
Technology will never replace being a human.
Don’t get me wrong – I love tech, need it, and use it every day. But that doesn’t mean it offers any cheat codes or shortcuts to good old fashioned work that earns me a seat at the table and keeps it.
Despite how beneficial technology is, it will never replace ME and the essential work that I need to do to be successful.
Oscar Wilde said it best, “be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Isn’t that the truth?!
If used properly, technology can amplify what you’re already doing right while creating efficiency, but too often it’s pulling people toward chasing shortcuts that simply don’t work out for the long haul.
It’s never been easier to blast out 10,000 emails to inboxes across the country, but does that really accomplish anything?
Think about it, how much opportunity are you leaving behind when you hit that send button?
Don’t expect technology to deliver any shortcuts. You reap what you sow. Always.
How to refocus on quality.
First, accept that there’s no replacement for well-intentioned hard work.
Putting in a consistent effort toward your goals is the only way you’ll end up with long-term results that you can look back on and smile.
There’s a BIG difference between a growth mindset and a growth-at-any-cost mindset.
Growth is not the be all and end all it’s cracked up to be.
Accept that there will be peaks and valleys along your journey. Accept that the most valuable things in life take time to come to fruition.
You can’t drop seeds on asphalt and expect a garden to manifest itself. It takes planning, preparation, understanding, and patience to make those seeds grow.
A growth mindset is patient, purposeful, and always has a clear view of the big picture while keeping revenue AND profitability in mind.
As far as holding yourself accountable for doing quality work, it’s time to get right and real with yourself.
Start journaling. Surround yourself with strong people that have your best interests at heart who will truly point out your blind spots and tell you harsh truths when you need to hear them.
Most importantly, be intentional in all of your work and communication.
Research reflects that 93% of companies who exceed their revenue goals report focusing on their buyers to focus on personas.
Before you hit send on a campaign, email, or connection request, pause and ask yourself, ‘so what? Is this something I would connect with and respond to?’
Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes helps you get a sense of how you’re presenting yourself. It also helps you tap into the EQ (emotional intelligence) side of the equation and remember that it’s not just about you.
Practice makes perfect. Next time you’re about to head into a big negotiation, give this short, impactful exercise a try:
Take 5 minutes to sit, reflect, and give the other person’s needs your undivided attention. What are they thinking coming into the negotiation? What are their desired outcomes for the conversation? Are you able to give them what they want? How?
Lean into the Golden Rule while laying the groundwork necessary to provide real value, and the rest will blossom.
In a world where everyone is focused on numbers and growth-at-any-cost, taking the time to focus on quality will set you apart from the pack.
Looking for more on this topic? My full conversation with Megan Bowen about this and so much more can be heard here via The Unwritten Playbook podcast.
What do you refuse to believe?