Here’s an interesting psychological phenomenon that I’ve observed among experienced salespeople:
We confuse thinking about something a lot with actually doing that thing.
It’s why people often tell me “I’m already doing that,” when it comes to asking for testimonials and referrals, or following up on quotes and proposals. The conversation that ensues often goes something like this:
Me: “Oh, that’s great. How many referrals do you ask for on a weekly basis?”
Salesperson: “I get them every couple of weeks or so.”
Me: “Ones that you ask for?”
Salesperson: “Sometimes, but mostly they just come in.”
Me: “The ones that you ask for, how do you ask?”
Salesperson: “I guess I don’t really ask.”
It’s the same with many of the simple actions I teach. Salespeople often thinkabout asking for referrals and testimonials a lot. Sometimes daily. Right? But now think about how many of those testimonials and referrals do you actually proactively ask for? How many quotes do you really follow up on, on the phone, or, okay, even by email? How often do you recommend products or services to customers which they are not currently buying? You may thinkabout it, but do you do it?
We conflate this, and often use “I’m already doing this” as a legitimate resistance to the work we think we’re doing, but are not. You’re thinking about doing it, and you know you should be doing it, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually doing it.
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