You’re Not Doing it Right

“You’re not doing it right.” My daughters recognize when I’m not doing something correctly and will say this to me or each other all the time. I will be reading a book, playing a game, or making their lunch and inevitably they say I’m not doing it right.

On the other hand, my two year old just doesn’t tell people they’re not doing it right, she doesn’t do things right and says she is. When I ask her to pick up her toys, she will bark at me; “I am daddy!” Even though she is only moving them around the floor. If I ask her to brush her teeth, the “I am daddy!” comes flying out, yet she’s just swinging the toothbrush around in her hand and there is no toothpaste on it.

If I wasn’t already painfully aware that everyone “thinks” they know what is right AND that they are doing it right, having kids has made it perfectly clear they don’t and they aren’t.

Most of the time we think we are doing something right when we’re not and if we aren’t humble enough to evaluate whether or not we are, we’re sunk.

As sales leaders and sales people we are not immune to the belief we are doing something and not knowing we are doing it wrong.

I got an email the other day from a sales person at one of my clients  thanking me for helping him improve his selling approach. You can read the entire email here.

The money quote for me was this:

 You’ve now got me laser-focused on selling the solution, not the product. And while I may have paid that distinction lip-service throughout my sales career, today truly changed my perspective as I could see the difference in what I had been doing versus what needs to be done.”

Up to the very last seconds before we met, this sales person thought he was selling solutions not products. The idea that he might not be doing it right was inconceivable to him. In his mind, this part of his game was buttoned down and not in need of any tweaking. Like my two year-old daughter he was saying to himself — “I am!”

Too often we  believe we are doing it right and the more resistent we become the less we believe we can learn something and the longer we continue to do it wrong.

I know you’re doing it, but are you doing it right?