Radical Consistency... The One Thing Separating The 20% From The 80%.May 15, 2023
"If you don’t do it consistently, it’s not a habit. It’s a hobby."
Are you creating sales habits or hobbies?
Allow this to simmer for a bit... Now ask yourself, what am I consistently doing to create sales habits that propel my career forward?
What are you repeatedly doing to create sales excellence?
You can control what you can control, and you can't control what you can't control.
You may not like hearing this, I believe you are 100% responsible for how you show up.
Therefore, daily, are you showing up prepared and committed to sales excellence?
If you were asked you to describe your work ethic, what would you say? Is it strong? Is it in need of some attention or quite frankly, would you even know?
Now remember, the mirror never lies only the person looking into it. So, tell the truth when it comes to your work ethic, your habits and your consistent pursuit to sales excellence.
Sales professionals are consistently consistent.
In one of my favorite books, The Consistency Chain, by my friends George Campbell and Jim Packard, they hit consistency head on, bringing it right smack onto the business table.
Follow me enough and you will have heard me say, what's forever old is forever new.
What I admire about George and Jim is how they brought in the "Pareto Principle" to set up the framework of their book, The Consistency Chain.
The principle is named for Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. In 1906, Pareto noted that 20 percent of the population in Italy owned 80 percent of the property. In other words, the bulk of the Italian riches were owned by a minority of Italian people.
He proposed this ratio could be found many places in the physical world and theorized it might indicate a natural law.
Keep in mind, the principle doesn’t stipulate all situations will demonstrate that precise ratio, it refers to a normal distribution. Generally speaking, the principle can be interpreted to say... A minority of inputs results in the majority of outputs.
I'm sure you've heard these example before...
20% of clients will produce 80% of revenue.
20% of salespeople will produce 80% of sales revenue.
"But more importantly without consistency you'll never finish. Without commitment you'll never start. But more importantly without consistency you'll never finish.
Could the secret to many sales riches be wrapped into one word... Consistency?
WHAT DEFINES THE 20% OVER THE 80%?
"Consistency is the belt that fastens excellence in position. If you don’t do it repeatedly, you’ll not excel in it.”
Before we isolate what sets the 20% apart from the 80%, George and Jim, isolate and eliminate characteristics common to both groups:
These were all traits they associated with success and performance. And they are equally present in both groups.
What is the one predominant differentiator? Quite simple... CONSISTENCY
The 20%-er's do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done consistently.
The 80%-er's know what needs to be done, know how to do it, but their efforts are spotty, erratic, and sporadic - inconsistent.
It's not that the 80% don't understand the information, as they do. To quote George and Jim,
"The greatest ideas in the world will not work for the 80% because they won't apply them consistently. This is not an intelligence or knowledge problem. This is a consistency problem."
Craig Groeschel's book, The Power to Change, Mastering the Habits that Matter Most is a must read.
"Successful people are not lucky. They're consistent."
As Craig Groeschel goes on to say,
"Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally."
Successful people start and maintain the right habits and keep doing them.
Same applies to salespeople.
There is no secret hack, trick, tip or short cut to success.
It's the combination of disciplined habits, consistency and radical levels of self-accountability.
"Successful people start and maintain the right habits and keep doing them."
James Clear wrote about consistency throughout his entire book, Atomic Habits.
As he went on to say,
"Success is the product of daily habits—not once-in-a-lifetime transformations."
Summing up Atomic Habits:
- Real change comes from the compound effects of hundreds of small decisions or habits that over time accumulate to produce remarkable results.
- To achieve your goals, you need to first build systems made of single processes and habits that will take you to our goals.
- Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement – it’s the good and bad things you do every day that compound over time to create real change.
Are you starting to see a common theme here... As your success is not determined by the next shiny object, tech toy or silver bullet; your success is determined by your consistent habits, self-discipline and radical consistency.
Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.
Proverbs 13:11 NLT
Let's crawl into the head of many in sales through this Proverbs message, "how fast can I succeed, or at least get to quota, with doing minimal amounts of work, effort and commitment?"
Thomas Edison nailed it,
"There is no substitute for hard work."
What are your daily habits, routines and rituals?
Are you committed to yourself?
A strong work ethic along with self-discipline starts with the consistent commitment you make to yourself.
“Small disciplines repeated with consistency everyday lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
John C. Maxwell
Consistency separates the good from the great.
How often have you observed someone in sales having a stupendous year, or a series of phenomenal quarters, only to follow it up with spats of mediocrity and below average performance?
Consistency separates the successful from the unsuccessful and sales professionals from sales reps.
Radical consistency will change the course of your sales life forever!
Consistency allows you to measure results.
Consistency yields accountability.
Consistency builds upon your reputation.
Salespeople today are consistently inconsistent.
NO EXCUSES WHEN IT COMES TO CONSISTENCY
"The key to success is consistency. And right now, the only way for you to actually take action is to believe in yourself."
Are you lying to yourself?
To accomplish what you tell yourself requires massive amounts of discipline.
Words with little to no action and discipline lead you down the path to nowhere.
To quote American author Hal Elrod,
“Repetition can be boring or tedious, which is why so few people ever master anything.”
And why discipline means consistently doing what you tell yourself you will do without procrastination and without the excuses.
- How many of you tell yourself that tomorrow you will start prospecting, but the next day you postpone prospecting?
- How many of you promise to start sales practice, but you fail to start?
- How many of you promise to take better care of your clients, but then find yourself looking for excuses not to do what you promised yourself to do?
Being consistent in sales builds trust.
Consistency is mission critical, especially in challenging times when people crave certainty and reassurance.
Consistency is the foundation for long term sustainability.
Consistency builds self-confidence.
Consistency opens the sales door to new opportunities.
Consistency helps you to develop new habits.
How can you make any real changes in your sales life, improve your sales life or make any consistent progress if you're always lying to yourself?
THE 20%-ER'S CREATE A CONSISTENCY PLAN
Creating consistency requires intentional planning and practice.
The 20%-er's are forward thinking sales professionals. They plan, prepare and practice consistent behaviors. They understand their core activities are built around their values, purpose, a plan and goals.
If for any reason their priorities are not in alignment with these areas, they acknowledge it and realign to it.
Are you connecting with your core values, your personal mission, or the quiet voice in your head?
- What is your mission statement?
- What are your values?
- What are you grateful for?
It's how you consistently start the morning that determines how you finish the day.
What specifically can you do to maintain consistency?
What is your plan?
Craig Groeschel so eloquently says,
"The path to public success is always paved with private discipline."
As we think about discipline, let's refer to Hebrews 12:11 NLT,
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening - it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained this way.
What consistency seeds are you planting?
CONSISTENCY REQUIRES ACTION
"The path to success is to take massive, determined action."
Consistency and action go hand in hand. Consistency means regularly and persistently taking action towards your desired outcome. It's not enough to have good intentions or sporadically put in effort; true consistency requires dedication and discipline.
Consistency requires effort, commitment, and a willingness to take action even when it's difficult or inconvenient.
The 20%-er's, the sales professionals, they ask themselves:
- What actions do I need to do to achieve my goals?
- What activities do I need to repeat over and over again to achieve my goals?
- What am I filling up my soul with to help me hit my goals?
Simply put, they are laser focused. They have a clear idea of what needs to happen to achieve their desired outcomes.
What are your desired outcomes?
They understand what consistent repetitive activities they must do and then they take massive action.
What are you doing right now to take massive action?
SUCCESS AND CONSISTENCY, IT'S UP TO YOU
Ultimately, your success and consistency are within your control. You must be willing to take ownership of your actions. You must be willing to be consistent with your efforts. You must be willing to stay committed to your goals.
Your sales life is too precious to waste. Your future rests solely in your hands. You and you alone decide what you'll focus on.
You and you alone choose to be distracted.
You and you alone can only decide to take action.
You must hold yourself radically accountable. The hardest part of being self-disciplined is doing it every day.
You may not see immediate results but over time and with consistent action you will build the foundations of a meaningful sales life.
In a sales world where trust and credibility are anemically low, think about the following:
Consistency in your character develops integrity.
Consistency in your attitude creates trust.
Consistency in your self-leadership builds influence.
I will leave you all with this Craig Groeschel quote,
"Don't confuse activity with productivity."
What consistent activities will you commit to doing today?
Originally published on Larry Levine's LinkedIn.