The reason you are not calling your client to discuss the major issue you have in producing the outcomes you promised is that you believe the conversation is going to be painful. So you avoid it.

The reason you aren’t talking to your manager about the challenge you are having producing results is that you believe the conversation will be unpleasant. You would have to discuss the areas in which you are failing. No reason to deal with that.

The reason you aren’t picking up the phone and making your calls is that you believe that the work of prospecting is painful, and you would prefer to do something else that looks like work instead. So you do make-work instead.

The reason that you are avoiding calling your client to pass on your rate increase is that the client may be put at-risk and the conversation disagreeable. Might as well wait it out.

The reasons you don’t get out of bed when the alarm clock sounds in the morning is that you associate pain with missing that sleep. So you slip back into a warm, comfortable sleep for nine whole minutes.

A Little Pain Now, Or a Lot of Pain Later

We humans are pleasure-seeking creatures. We are even bigger pain avoiders. We try desperately to move away from pain and towards pleasure (or comfort). But “avoiding pain” gets us in trouble. By seeking to avoid some pain now, we set ourselves up for much more pain later.

It’s painful to call your client to discuss the areas in which you are failing. But it’s even more painful to lose the client over something that you could have (should have) improved were you to have addressed it head-on.

It’s equally painful to speak to your manager about the areas in which you are struggling and to ask for help. But it’s even more painful to lose your job because you did nothing to improve your results.

It’s difficult to get started prospecting. But without breaking the pain of getting started now, you will later suffer from a weak pipeline, missed quotas, and worse.

You may seek the comfort of nine more minutes in bed. You may hit the snooze button to avoid the discomfort of getting out of bed, but you will later suffer the pain of having not made time to exercise, to develop yourself, or to do what you know must be done.

Successful people are spectacular are making future-oriented trade-offs. They happily deal with a little pain now so that they can avoid a great deal of pain later. By tackling issues when the pain is small, they stave off having to deal with much larger problems later. They deal with the right pain, instead of later dealing with the wrong, and much more detrimental, pain.


What small pain is it that you are avoiding now?

What are the implications of not dealing with that small pain now? What happens when the issues goes unresolved?

Outside of sales and business, what are the discomforts you are avoiding and what are the repercussions of avoiding them?

Sales 2012
Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 2, 2012
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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