Would you expect an insurance salesperson to do anything other than sell you insurance?
That´s a question Michael Pollock and I explored at the end of a telephone call and podcast earlier today. Michael is now in the midst of the tough part of the call — trying to edit our conversation to make me sound coherent 🙂
The context of the question is important. I was talking about the importance of focusing on the end of business as opposed to the means and Michael shared a story of how he briefly sold insurance earlier in his career. He recalled meeting with a couple and telling them they didn´t need to buy more insurance. "Their jaws dropped when I told them they were over insured."??
Insurance salespeople are supposed to sell insurance – it’s their job. More insurance is a natural conclusion of their evaluation of your unique situation.
I´m sharing this thought with you now because it´s such an important part of growing your business.
The people Michael met with didn´t want to buy insurance; they were interested in asset protection, caring for loved ones after they´ve passed, etc. They were never interested in buying insurance"?¦insurance was a means to a far more important end.
Michael and I also talked about investing. Many people invest in the stock market, but I can think of no one that holds shares in a company as an end. People invest in the stock market as a means to financial independence, funding of education for their children, retirement planning, etc. There´s a desired end that drives the means to investing in the stock market.
The same relationship of a means to an end exists in business.
Consultants sell and customers buy means each and every day — copywriting, web development, coaching, training, etc. These things are means because none of them are a purpose of business. At best, they lead to an end. At worst, they waste valuable time and money.
I encourage each of you to evaluate your activities and engagements against this model of means and end. Are you getting the results in your business you expect and desire? Do you seem to have a thousand things underway, but none produce the results you expect? If you’re underperforming, it could be as simple as you´re focusing on the means as though it were an end.
Get your head wrapped around what you´re working to achieve and measure each means as it supports and increases your chance for success. Stop doing all the things that don´t directly map to your business purpose, goals, and expectations – it´s like treading water in a race across the pool. And never be surprised if someone that sells and provides training for a living tells you that’s exactly what your business needs to grow.