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Thursday 19 October 2017
Commentary

The key to your success is not intelligence

We always think “boy…if I were as smart as _________, I’d be wealthy!” We chalk success up to being smart. CEO and co-founder Vector Space Systems, Jim Cantrell says that intelligence is more of a tool that enables you to be successful rather than an ingredient in and of itself.

Many of us who sell services often think that we haven’t quite found our passion. We move from industry to industry, change jobs but still find that after the glow of the new job fades, we’re back to square one – feeling unfulfilled. Not that we can’t do the job. We are more than competent but there’s something missing, and we can’t quite put our finger on it.

Your success is based on the convergence on the following:

Clarity. Entrepreneur Peter Voogd says that in a world filled with so many options, mindless distractions and evolving technology and information overload, it has become extremely difficult to gain clarity. Most entrepreneurs haven’t come to grips with how important clarity is and how big a role it plays in their success. Clarity brings confidence and confidence raises standards.

Many times we’re advised to follow our dreams, identify our passions, do what we love. If you’re here, stop. I think it’s more important to figure out how you’re naturally wired to perform. What’s your behaviour pattern? Do you like to build on things, do you like to solve problems, do you work best under extreme pressure? Don’t for one second think it’s not important.

Dan Sullivan, founder and president of the Strategic Coach Inc explains it this way: “Has anyone ever encouraged you to improve in areas where you struggle? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. This is how most of the world thinks and operates. But does it truly make your life better? Do you absolutely love doing it now that you’re better at it? Our guess is no it doesn’t, and no you don’t. Your unique ability is a completely different mindset that honors your natural strengths, what’s already within you and comes most naturally to you. It’s you at your very best —the way you create your best results and what people count on you for. Even if you do have a pretty good idea of what you do really well and are really passionate about doing, you might take it for granted. Most people downplay it, thinking anyone can do what they do, but that’s simply not true. You have a unique way of doing what you’re best at because of who you are as a person — your personality, your unique experiences in life, your natural hard-wired talents… no one is exactly like you.”

This is your zone of genius. You must get clear on what this is for you.

Next you need to do something that creates value and can be sold. We often love to draft strategic plans but to have a REAL strategy, it must really matter to your existing and potential customers and it must differentiate you from others in the same field. You get clarity around this by asking your present AND potential customers. Let them know what you’re designing and find out if it is of value to them.

You must figure out a way to get their attention. Michael Zipursky found of Consulting Success shares this: “The fact is, every [service professional] is different and requires an approach that is a fit for their goals and circumstances. More Facebook advertising or social media posts won’t necessarily help you. Learning how to do cold sales phone calls won’t change things much. While the people pitching you those tactics may be qualified in teaching them, they are far from qualified in teaching you the timeless and powerful fundamentals essential to building a successful practice.”

And finally you need to have a sales conversation. Without it, you won’t get paid for your solutions.

What you need is a clear mind and deep focus on each one of these four steps to execute them properly. Take Michael’s advice: If you’re spending all your time dabbling in different marketing tactics without giving these four steps the attention and care they deserve you’re leaving money on the table.

Giselle Hudson writes a weekly column for the Business Day paper.

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