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THROUGH THE YEARS, I’ve come to embrace the realization that I am an agent of change for companies dissatisfied with their current sales and marketing outcomes. Once, after I proposed some significant strategy changes to an area CEO, I was startled when he told me, with perfect clarity, “We can’t expect a different outcome if we aren’t willing to change what we’re doing.”

We can all surely agree that this statement holds true. Why, then, do so many businesses struggle in executing change? Most business owners and managers will say they embrace change, but do their actions align with their words?

There have been many studies over the years about the psychology of change, our natural resistance to it and how we can better navigate through it. Embracing change, when it is foreign to you, is like breaking a bad habit of routine complacency.

Dr. Dawn Obrecht, an addiction specialist, describes three ingredients needed to bring about real change: honesty, openness and willingness. How open are you to hearing about the need for change? How honest are you being with yourself and others about your desire and willingness to change?

Willingness to change is best measured by action. If you’re willing to stop talking about change and actually take action, regardless of your comfort level in doing so, that’s half the battle.

If you’re not pleased with your current sales and marketing outcomes, how do you assess which elements of your strategy should change?

Talk with customers and prospects. Ask what they see as your differentiators, what would make them more likely to buy, what product/service enhancements they desire, and what your competitors are doing well. Then shop those competitors just like a customer would. How do your efforts stack up?

Shadow your sales reps, identifying any missed opportunities or skill gaps. And assess the return on your past sales and marketing strategies. If your efforts can’t be measured, work to find strategies that can be.

If you know you are simply too close to the situation to objectively assess it or too uncomfortable to drive real change, simply find someone more removed who can. It is the best gift you can give your company.

Pulitzer-prize-winning novelist Ellen Glasgow summed it up well when she said, “The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.” Don’t let complacency kill your business. Be an agent of change

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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