Friday, 23 March 2012

In sales be careful you are not doing a Donald Rumsfeld

Do you remember Donald Rumsfeld, the United States Secretary of Defence during the Iraq war?

If you do, then you may well also recall his famous statement (although like most of us you probably don't understand it).

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know
there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do
not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - there are things we do not
know we don't know"

However what did strike me was the number of times sales people get distracted by company strategy, almost using it as a reason not to know as much as they possibly could about what is going on in their own personal part of the business or territory. Making absolutely certain that we know everything we can about what our clients, prospects and the competition are doing - irrespective of what else may or may not be going on in the business, with management or colleagues!

How many "Unknown unknowns" do you have that could make a difference to your sales numbers? If you are not the expert on your part of the business, then someone else will be.