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Yes there are two paths you can by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road your on.

Led Zeppelin
Stairway to Heaven

Inverse Relationships

The value of the dream client you are pursuing is inversely proportional to their receptivity; the greater the value, the more difficult it is to get in.

Your dream client’s great worth is also inversely related to how they match your ability to create value for them; the more value you can create, the more difficult it will be for you to gain the opportunity to do so.

There is an inverse relationship between your desire to serve your dream client and their loyalty to their existing provider; the more you want your dream client, the more they are loyal to their existing provider.

The ease of winning your dream client in inversely related to how valuable they are to you—and you to them.

Two Paths

There isn’t a more difficult path in sales than pursuing your dream clients.

The easier path as a salesperson is to call on something less than your dream clients. The easy path is to pursue receptive prospects (and nightmare clients), prospects for whom you can’t create enough value to make it worth your while (or theirs), and prospects who have no loyalty to their existing provider (and who will move for a few pennies, chasing the bottom).

But pursuing the easy path leads to a life of sales mediocrity. You may win some deals but, ultimately, they won’t add to much in the way of being real value-creating relationships. And they won’t allow you to do the jaw-dropping, breath-taking, earth-shattering work that will make sales a fulfilling and meaningful profession.

You can celebrate the win, even if there really isn’t all that much to celebrate. But the celebration will ring hollow.

Time to Change the Road You Are On

There is no reason to choose a profession if you plan only to be mediocre, sales included.

You can take the decision to pursue greatness at any time—and you can choose to pursue the clients for whom you can do meaningful work at any time (even though it is going to take time to put them in the win column).

Your happiness in sales is directly proportional to the clients that you pursue and serve. Your sales life is your client list, for good or for ill. Who you want to be is, in part, made up of who it is that you serve.

How do you stay off the road to a sales life of mediocrity?


Why did you get into sale in the first place? Why do you really go to work?

What makes work meaningful? What makes working in sales meaningful?

Is it meaningful work to serve clients for whom you can provide no value? Is it meaningful to serve nightmare clients?

Is success, true success, ever really easy to achieve? Isn’t it the journey that has made all of your meaningful accomplishments so valuable?

Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on March 28, 2011

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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