SMALL REWARDS OR SMALL HARMS?…everything we do in life is done with a purpose. That purpose is to "make things better". It all boils down to decisions… hundreds of decisions every day. Each decision is intended to provide a "reward". The decision to make a Sales Call is based around the anticipation that "I will make a sale and therefore get a reward…eg: more money". Sometimes the attempt to provide a reward backfires and it ends up as a "harm". As parents, we see this concept show up all the time when we monitor our child's companions. "If Bobby keeps hanging around with those kids, he's going to end up in trouble". The reward is he has friends, the harm is they're bad friends.
The Business of Sales is full of opportunities for reward coupled with the danger of harm many times every day. The problem is that In looking for rewards, very often Salespeople ignore another danger…the Danger of Compounding. Compounding can work for you and it can work against you. A series of small rewards that are really hidden harms can cause a lot of damage.
Here is your ACTION STEP… a simple example would be drinking a Coke instead of a glass of water. You get a small reward but you really end up with a small harm. One Coke never hurt anyone, but 100 of them make you fat (Diet Coke is even worse!). Let's look at some of the rewards and harms that you run into every single day…
REWARDS that are really HARMS
1. Getting up late because "I worked extra time last night"
2. Not closing one more time because you are afraid of being "pushy"
3. Cutting corners in your presentation because "they're probably going to buy anyway"
4. Eating fast food much too often. That hamburger/French fries/milkshake adds up fast
5. Checking e-mails when you are prospecting
6. Not prospecting today because "I deserve a break"
7. Not eating a healthy breakfast and thinking a bigger lunch is an acceptable alternative
8. Working too many hours instead of planning specific time with your family (No one on their deathbed ever said… "I wish I had spent more time at the office")
9. Trying to be all things to all potential customers instead of weeding out the "fence sitters"
10. Avoiding asking for referrals… "they know what business I'm in, they won't forget about me"
11. Multi-tasking instead of doing one thing at a time
12. Going for that "sugar hit" in the middle of the afternoon/evening to keep you going
Recognize that Compounding works in two directions: #1. GOOD: A lot of small positive rewards will result in large successes; #2. BAD: A lot of small harmful rewards will result in ultimate failure. You have to decide if the rewards you are seeking in all your daily decisions are going to add to your success or ultimately destroy it. Just remember that everything adds up…100 pluses (+) during the month and you will be ahead; 100 minuses (-) and you will be on the path to failure. The Compound Effect is undeniable. Are you guilty of consistently "winning short-term and losing long-term"? Make sure you are winning every day. Make sure the daily small rewards you are seeking are adding to your success… avoid the small harms. Don't let them have any power over you! NO Excuses.