For the almost five decades that I’ve been alive, I thought I knew how to tie my shoes. Then I watched this clip from the TED conference – a gathering of the most cutting edge thinkers – and realized that I could do better – at tying my shoes, and maybe more as well.

To the point of the speaker (Terry Moore, director of the Radius Foundation, a forum for exploring and gaining insight from different worldviews), this principle extends beyond shoe laces.  We spend a big part of each day doing things the way we have always done them.

  • The way we tie our shoes
  • The way we drink our coffee
  • The way we organize our days
  • The way we open a first meeting with a new client
  • Etc.

We do a lot of these things by habit for at least two reasons.

First, they are effective. If something works, why change it?

Second, if we had to consider and analyze every single thing we did each day and the way we did it, we would never get past brushing our teeth in the morning.

I don’t think that the shoe laces video is suggesting that everything should change, or that everything we do requires analysis and reconsideration. You can probably keep drinking your coffee with the same hand you always did without much real impact on the rest of your life.

However, some of your habits do have a significant impact on your health or your business or the significant relationships in your life – and in those cases, sometimes it does make sense to identify these important elements of your life – which you may be doing by habit – and consider if there might be another way.

With respect to sales, maybe there are new lead sources you should consider;

Or maybe you can prospect in a new way;

Or maybe you can set up the close of a sale or the handling of an objection in a different way.

A few years ago, I read a sales book that had an approach to the “I need to think it over” objection that I had never considered. I tried it the next week, and closed a large consulting contract in a meeting. Had I not handled that objection effectively, the project may well have been delayed or even derailed.

There are always things we can improve. Sometimes we can identify them, but sometimes we can’t see them because we are so used to the way we have always done things.

Accordingly, simply making a commitment to read sales books or blogs or to go to seminars will expose you to new ideas. Many may not be right for you, but if every once in a while you find something that really works, and you incorporate that as a new habit, then over time you will improve your composite habit set, and become increasingly effective at whatever it is you choose.

…by the way, just last week I bought a new pair of shoes that happened to have round laces. I decided to try the new method from the video rather than the “double knot” I have been using for decades. My shoes really don’t seem to come untied! It does feel strange to tie my shoes differently, but the results are worth the mild discomfort of operating beyond my old, blind habits.

…that is the point!

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David