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September 02, 2008


mike mccue

Nathan and Kelley,
This reminds me of something I hear a lot of sales executives tell me in my travels and interviews: that the bar has been raised and there are certain things that used to be competitive differentiators, but today are just bottom-line requirements. In the column, Kelley correctly points out that hard work and commitment are required just to get into the competition, let alone win. Sales executives tell me that product quality and price are the same way. High quality used to be a major differentiator, but now it's where the discussion starts. In other words, if you don't have a high-quality product, you aren't even in the discussion. It's the same with hard work, I think. Having top-notch people skills and great powers of persuasion are highly desirable traits in salespeople, but they aren't enough anymore. If you don't put in the time -- learning and doing everything you can to be an asset to your customers -- you just won't be around at the end, when purchasing decisions are made.
Thanks for the reminder -- there is no replacement for hard work and dedication!


Nathan Poling

Good post. It's true in almost any discipline: hard work beats out natural talent. A study of top pianists showed that they practiced 8X as long as average pianists. Talent will get you interested in a profession, but it's the long hours of work that make you succeed. It's a good lesson to remember.

Nathan Poling

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