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The Power in Knowing How To
Apr 7, 2016 | S. Anthony Iannarino
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Strategy is important. So is vision. You know where you want to take your team. You know what results you need to achieve. And you know how you intend to compete and win in your markets. Leaders love to talk strategy, vision, and meaning. What they often spend too little time on is actually teaching their people “how to.”
One of the greatest minds on winning wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Your team knows what you want. They are smart. Intellectually, they understand what you want. This isn’t where they struggle. The resistance that you sense isn’t to your strategy or your vision. They’re not trying to be adversarial or obstructionist.
The reason your team isn’t doing what you need them to do is that they don’t know how. They lack the confidence that they can achieve the necessary outcomes. Mostly this is because what you are asking of them is difficult. The strategy isn’t the challenging part; it’s the putting it into practice that is the difficult part. It’s the tactics.
Tell Me How To
It’s difficult to gain appointments with the dream clients that you need to grow your business and do the meaningful work that you want to do. Most salespeople struggle with opportunity acquisition. If you want them to improve here, you have to help with the “how to.” They already know you want more and better opportunities.
It’s difficult to build consensus around a new idea. It is super challenging just to break out of the silo in which your power sponsor has caged you. If your team knew how to get out of that cage without alienating the people with whom they have relationships, they’d have already done so. They know why they’re stuck. What they don’t know is how to get unstuck.
And now you want them to capture value? If you haven’t had the pleasure of sitting across from clients defending your price for some time, you might be surprised how difficult it is to convince your dream client that there is a difference between price and cost. Oh, and don’t get me wrong here; intellectually, your dream client understands. It’s getting them to agree to make the larger investment instead of demanding a discount that’s the challenging part.
There is power and confidence in knowing how.
You need to understand where your team struggles. You need know how they are challenged. Then you need to teach them how to overcome those challenges. They want to give you what you want. They’re not being obstinate. They just need your help. Will you give it to them?
About the Author
S. Anthony Iannarino is the President and Chief Sales Officer for Solutions Staffing, a best-in-class regional staffing service based in Columbus, Ohio. He is also the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company where he works to help salespeople and sales organizations improve and reach their full potential. Visit
to check out his blog.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.
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