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Effort Doesn’t Line Up Neatly With Results

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
July 8, 2010

alt text for sign saying opportunity aheadProducing results in sales doesn’t always seem to line up very neatly with your effort. Some days you can bang out hundreds of cold calls to no result. Other days you can make ten calls and schedule five appointments. Some of the deals you work the hardest to close don’t go your way, and other deals seem to close themselves without any effort on your part.

Even though your effort doesn’t always determine your result, you have to continue to make the effort anyway. Your future results and opportunities depend on it.

Effort and Cold Calls

Cold calling is very much like your physical fitness; you can eat well and exercise for a single day with no noticeable result. But ninety days of eating right and exercising can completely transform your physical health. The same is true about your prospecting and cold calling efforts. You may make hundreds of calls today without scheduling a single appointment. That same result may be true tomorrow. But the effort that you expend today will produce future results.

Your continued effort at cold calling can and will make you more effective at cold calling (if you are willing to study, learn, and write scripts).

Your continued effort will allow you to capture the information you need to be able to schedule an appointment with your dream client at some point in the future by providing you with some ideas as to how you can be valuable and who will let you in. Your call can help you uncover the dissatisfaction that may provide you that way in.

Your continued effort to call and schedule an appointment will indicate your strong your desire to serve your dream client, and it will show that you are not like your peers who were discouraged and simply gave up.

Your calls today can make your future calls more effective and can help you to create a better result. In the future, when you book five out of ten calls, notice how many of those five dream clients you have called in the past. Did your past effort help to produce those results? More than likely it did. But even if your result was a bit of randomness that accompanies our universe, know that you don’t get the upside of the randomness when you aren’t making your calls.

Effort and Nurturing

Nurturing efforts don’t line up very neatly either. Sometimes a great deal of effort results in nothing, and sometimes a little effort opens an opportunity for you. Like cold calling and prospecting, you must continue to nurture your dream clients, and you will gain much my doing so over time—even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Your nurture toolkit has the potential to demonstrate that you are a value creator and not a time waster. Your efforts can show your willingness to make a difference for your dream client and your ability to create value. It can also show that you are willing to create value before claiming value—you’re not just in this for you.

Your continued nurturing efforts can establish you as someone who is has the situational knowledge and the business acumen to be able to produce results.

At some point in the future, when the dissatisfaction that precedes all sales rears it’s ugly head, your dream client will either think of you as someone worth talking to, or they won’t. If you have nurtured your dream client relationships over time, you will your phone will ring. If you haven’t nurtured these relationships, there is no chance that you will get the call; your fiercest competitor just may.

You don’t have any control over when your dream client will experience the real trigger event: dissatisfaction. You do control what position you put yourself in by the effort you expend—even when it feels like you aren’t getting a result.


In sales, your efforts don’t always line up neatly with the results. But the effort you expend helps you to increase your effectiveness (if you let it) and to produce your future results and opportunities.


    1. Why don’t your efforts always line up neatly with the results you need? What does this mean about trying to cram for results later?

    1. What can you gain from your daily efforts, what outcomes can you achieve even when you are not achieving the primary outcome you want from your effort?

    1. What future results can you generate with activity today?

    1. What deposits can you make in future opportunities and relationships that require you to expend energy today, but are very unlikely to produce the result today (or even very quickly).

  1. Why is it important to work on the coldest dream clients instead of only working on the hottest deals?

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4279.

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Sales 2010
Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 8, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

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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