You Know What You Need To Do

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
January 5, 2011

More than once I have been told that much of I write is already known. I vehemently reject that statement! I only write about what is already known. Maybe I look at things or say things in a way that is unique, but I deliberately and purposely write about the fundamentals of sales and sales management.

I know that execution of the fundamentals is where the game is won or lost, and my hallucination is, if you are here, that is why you are here. Even though you don’t need me to tell you what you already know is right and true.

Crossing the Great Divide

There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be.

There is gap between what your pipeline is supposed to look like and what it actually looks like. There is a gap between what your sales were last year and what they were supposed to be. There is a gap between what your sales were and what they could be—regardless of your quota or some other commitment that was made for you.

Even if you killed it last year, I’ll bet you still recognize a gap in your performance that bothers you. The highest performers never rest on their laurels (that’s why they are the highest performers).

Closing that gap means change, and only you can close that gap.

What You Already Know

You already know where the gap in your performance is.

You don’t need your sales manager to tell you where you are coming up short. You don’t need to wait for your quarterly or annual evaluation to discover what your sales manager believes are the areas where you are underperforming. You know them by heart—and your sales manager probably does too.

You also already know what you need to do to close that gap.

If your pipeline isn’t full of the opportunities you need, you know very well what you need to do to change that. If you don’t have the relationships that you need to win the dream client deals you are pursuing, you know what you need to do and what it would take to build those relationships. Whatever it is that ails you, you know what it would take to cure your ills.

You just don’t like doing what it would take. The best performers don’t always like it any better than you do–they just do it anyway.

The Unbearably High Cost of Low Discipline

Doing what is necessary to close the gap means making a change, and change is painful. You have to be uncomfortable, and sometimes you have to be uncomfortable for a longer time than you want to endure.

Self-discipline, the ability to make and keep the commitments that you need to make to yourself, is the single attribute that allows you to do what you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do it. The gap in your performance is created by all of the things that you know you should be doing, but that you aren’t doing because they aren’t as pleasurable as doing something else (this is sometimes true even when there is a sure and certain painful price to be paid later for not having done what needed doing).

The unbearably high cost of low discipline is producing results that are less than you might have produced. It costs you in missed opportunities, missed income, and missed experiences. The high cost of low discipline is that you can never, ever recover the time that you lost doing something less than you should have been doing with your time.

The first part of changing your results is changing your beliefs. The second part is taking action. Let these questions be your guide.


In what area is there a big, nasty gap in your sales performance?

What would you have to do to close that gap? What actions would you have to take? What outcomes would you have to achieve?

Be honest; it’s only us here. What stops you from doing what you know needs done in order to close that gap? Down deep, why do you avoid taking the actions you need to take in this area?

How would your sales results improve if you were to start taking actions in this area with the discipline that it requires? What would those results look like? How would it feel to achieve the goals you have for yourself?

What action will you take now that you have been ever so gently reminded?

ANNOUNCEMENT: On January 14, 2011, Future Selling Institute is being launched. It’s focused on sales leaders and aspiring leaders—sales managers, executives, general managers responsible for the sales function. It’s packed full of resources to help sales leaders excel! Any sales leader interested in their personal, professional and career development will want to join this community. Join us on January 14, 2011 for the kickoff conference.

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) 212-4729.

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Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

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Sales 2011
Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 5, 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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