Focus on the Short Term

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
February 11, 2011

I don’t know how long your sales cycle is. I don’t know what your quota is or what your goal for this quarter is, either. But I know that if your pipeline doesn’t already include more than enough opportunities to reach those goals with a margin for error and the unexpected, it’s difficult to reach those goals from here.

Selling business-to-business and major accounts is about selling to produce long-term results and long-term success. But your long-term success requires you to focus on the short term. The very short term.


What you choose to do today will impact your results far into the future.

The calls that you make today to open the relationships that will open the opportunities with your dream clients won’t produce results for months. Not making these calls today will mean that months from now you won’t have the opportunities that you need then.

Nurturing the dream client relationships you need today won’t likely produce results today. But the slow accumulation of the trust you build, and the value you create by nurturing, will eventually bear fruit, albeit months, quarters, or years from now. Failing to nurture your dream clients now will mean that when they experience the trigger event that is dissatisfaction, you are unknown. The salespeople who will be front of mind will have made the effort to nurture.

Asking for the commitments you need to move your opportunities forward today will move your opportunities closer to an agreement, be it next week, next month, or next quarter. Failing to ask for those commitments today means that at some point in the future, you will not have what you need to win, or you will have unnecessarily extended your sales cycle and missed the opportunity to win it sooner.

You take care of tomorrow by taking care of today.

Next Week!

Want to know what your future looks like? Look at next week’s calendar. Focusing on next week, like focusing on actions today, is really focusing on your long-term results.

Is next week’s calendar full of scheduled sales calls with the dream clients you need to grow and succeed? Are you spending next week with the decision-makers, decision-influencers, and stakeholders who will someday soon decide they need to make a change? Spending time here means that your future will have both opportunities and newly won clients.

But if you calendar has big blank spots next week, at some point in your future you will also have equally big blank spots in your pipeline—and bigger blank spots in your results.

Producing the long-term results that success in sales is built on means focusing on actions that you need to take in the short term. The actions that you take today are what will produce your future results. Time relentlessly ticks away, diminishing the time you have to achieve your goals with every tick. Focus on the short term, produce results in the long run.


What are the actions you need to take today to produce results in the future?

What activities, if avoided and not taken today, will destroy your ability to produce the results you want to produce?

How does procrastinating and compressing the time you have to produce goals impact your ability to reach them?

If you aren’t motivated to act on your goals today, why will you be more motivated to take action tomorrow?

Why is it impossible to cram success?


Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on February 11, 2011
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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