“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” That’s what Tom Watson, the Chairman of IBM, said in 1943. Would you have listened to him? Most people would. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t.
Do you think Tom Watson was a smart guy? I’ll bet you do. Even smart people are wrong sometimes. You may find yourself asking other people for advice. You probably choose smart people to give you advice. That’s a good strategy. Just remember, it’s your choice whether or not to listen to them and take their advice. Selling requires making many decisions. You might be considering your sales strategy or how to resolve a problem. You may find that you make your decisions differently from other people. Some people decide based on fact and others decide based on opinions. You may give more weight to some concerns over others. The value of your family life may outweigh the cost of sacrificing your time to achieve a goal. That’s fine. There are lots of decisions you need to make in sales. There are going to be times in sales when you have to go with your gut. In all cases, if you’re making a business decision, when your gut is telling you something—listen. Watson is just one example of how the experts are sometimes wrong.
Maura Schreier-Fleming is a sales strategist and founder of Best@Selling, a sales training and consulting company. She wrote Monday Morning Sales Tips and works with sales professionals who want to sell more and close more business.