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“Just don’t quit”, Everyone tells you. Persistence is the key to success, usually accepted as gospel by leadership across many a sales organization. Work harder and keep working harder and success will come for sure. Right?

Really?

Here’s an experiment to test out this theory. Grab a rubber mallet and attempt to demo a solid concrete pillar with it. If it doesn’t work at first, let me “assure” you that if you just persist in your efforts, even double your efforts, you are guaranteed to succeed! Persistence pays! Just keep slugging away at that solid concrete with a rubber coated mallet.

How’s that working for you?

Let’s clarify this oversimplified cliche into something actually workable and useful, because if you are failing in sales, and all you do is just call more people, or call the same people more often and continue to do the exact same thing, you are a likely to get the exact same results or even diminishing results. Why? Because persistence should be applied to the result you are striving for, not the methodology you are using in pursuing that result.

Failure is a teacher, if you allow it to be. Failure shows you what doesn’t work and by process of elimination points you in the direction of what actually does work.

“Don’t quit” is good advice that has become oversimplified over the years into really bad advice. “Just make more calls”, the sales version of “don’t quit” is the incompetent sales manager’s cop out tool to avoid actually offering insight into what you might be doing wrong. Yes, activity is important, but not feckless activity.

If you’ve been failing at hitting your sales goal, doubling down on doing what DOESN’T work is not likely to change the results. You are going to burn leads and still fail. What you need is a step back, a reflective pause, so you can figure a different tactic to use, a different strategy to embrace.

In other words, don’t quit trying to get sales, but maybe quit trying to get sales that particular way. There is likely a better tool or system, if you simply pause and look around for it.

There is nothing noble about beating your head against a wall (or beating on the wall with a mallet). Effort doesn’t get you much without some form of applied intelligence behind it.

I say, “Do Quit”. Do quit in doing the same thing and expecting different results. Failure is your dashboard indicator light telling you it is time to try another way, not keep trying the same way.

It is always a good time to reflect on what you are doing, and seek a better and more effective way to do it. It takes a 10% improvement to generate immense improvements in your results. Time to update that cliche.