Bruce Lee Kung Fu Sales

I saw this image on the internet a few days ago and it caught my attention. It made me think for a second.  

Before reading this, I valued cups based on what they contained. I had not consciously decided that was how I would value cups, but it was the incorrect postulate under which I was operating. If the cup is full, it's potential is limited by what is inside it. When a cup is empty, its usefulness is limitless (if you have kids and seen them use your cups as plates, sandbox toys, megaphones, hats, shoes, pyramid building blocks, etc., I know you get what I am saying!).

From a sales perspective, how often do we value what we are doing by the results they yield? It's a cause and effect evaluation, i.e. limiting the cup by what is in it. We know results are king, and we do not want to continue doing things that do not yield results. However, it is easy to incorrectly assign an effect to a cause. Sometimes, an effect is the product of a momentum of causes, and that momentum is lessened when you remove an individual action. 

When you develop a good sales process filled with many sales activities, remember:  

The usefulness of a sales activity, is its execution.  

It's not about finding that one magic cup/activity that will get you the sale. It's through consistent execution results are earned.  


You can quit. It's OK. What you are doing is hard. It is the definition of monotony.

Call after call. Voicemail after voicemail. Email after email. How many times today (this week, this month) have you asked a secretary "Can I speak with…"?

It's not just the activity, either. It's the emotional drain. You have to sound happy on the phone, even though you are worn out. You can't tell that gatekeeper what you really want to tell him/her, and holding back emotion is just as taxing as creating it, right?

Then, there's the mental toll. How can you endure another person that just doesn't get it? You know it will happen 100 times today -- they are just going to say "no" so they can move on. And then there is your boss. He's on you again. Doesn't he know you have tried everything you can think of? That you are working as hard as you can? That you, too, hate your numbers?

Those are real barriers to your success in sales.

What do you need to do to overcome them? PUSH.

Push to make the 51st call of the day. Push to leave the 37th voicemail. Push to look up the 42nd email address. Push to sound happy…to actually be happy and excited. Push to hold back frustration. Push yourself to hear "no" another time. Push to find the answer your boss is trying to help you find.

Barriers like the ones above are tall and wide, but they are all paper-thin. If you give the slightest push to get through, you will be on the other side. Your default setting is to stop. Sometimes, you don't even realize you have made a decision to stop until you are already standing still. Be aware of the decision to stop, and rather than letting the barriers kill your momentum, decide instead to PUSH.

Phenomenon vs Principle

I heard Dr. John Polis speak at some meetings this weekend. He was full of wisdom and practical advise. One of the many things that caught my attention was, over time, there are really only 2 reasons why things happen: phenomenon and principle.

Phenomenoa are miracles, Hail Mary's, one-in-a-million events. There is nothing you did to make them happen, and there isn't much you could have done to screw them up.

Principles are underlying beliefs which give you the work ethic, commitment, patience, and process to make something happen. Everything counts on you consistently acting upon those principles to get results.

Dr. Polis' point: Don't count on phenomena. Be thankful they occur, but know what your principles are and apply them every day.

In sales, we need to be doubly sure we are aware of these two creators of results. Trying to replicate phenomena will lead only to frustration, wasted time, and poor results. By definition, the cause of a phenomenon is unclear and therefore impossible to duplicate. If you can't re-create the cause, you'll be hard pressed to re-create the effect.

Principles may not be as exciting, but they always lead to long-term successes. You can continually work principles to get results. They are that limitless supply of potential into which you can tap by merely applying a little discipline, action, and belief.