“The only thing I know, is that I know nothing.”
Perhaps some of the most profound words ever spoken. As many of you may be aware, this well-known saying was derived from Plato’s account of the Greek philosopher Socrates and is often referred to as the Socratic Paradox. Though there is much argument about whether Socrates ever said such a thing, this short statement and its inherent meaning is invaluable.
So, you may be asking, why is that the subject of this week’s blog post? Well, the answer is simple. Every day, in every company, regardless of role, people feel like they are moving at 100 miles a minute. Perhaps some even faster. There are emails adding up, tasks that are overdue, calls requiring a response, and a litany of other tasks that continuously pile up on the “to do” list. Yet, at the same time, we are required to stay ahead of our consumers and know our products better than ever and sell them. The problem here is that when we are moving so fast, we seldom take the time to step back and learn important details about our products and services, or even our customer. We are moving so quickly that we may make the mistake of trying to sell something without really knowing the true benefits of the product or service for our customers. Or even worse, try to round an account when we have not done a good job of discovery. As I often say, if you are going in the wrong direction, speeding up doesn’t help.
We cannot take the risk of not slowing down and learning about our products, our services, our competition and news about our industry. Today’s consumers are savvier than ever. They can have almost any information at the tip of their fingers. If we are not armed and ready with information, they will be. A misinformed consumer can lead to many fire drills down the road.
Do you know what you don’t know? Being cognizant of this rudimentary concept is vital in the process of learning. Only by acknowledging that which we do not know can we search out and educate ourselves on the unknown. Moreover, it is accepting that it is ok to admit that you may not know all that you would like or need to know. Accepting that it is ok as long as you are committed to learning the information you need to communicate and sell the products you are trying to sell.
So, what is the take away from this week’s blog? Know your products. Know your clients. Know your carriers. Know your vendors. Know your policies and procedures. And if you don’t, then take the time to learn. Knowledge is power; knowledge communicates confidence and confidence breeds trust. With trust the sale becomes that much easier. And most of all, because if you are going in the wrong direction, speeding up won’t help!
Jaime Marco is the owner and President of Evolve Business Consulting. Jaime is a graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Interpersonal Communications. Jaime has an established, comprehensive, and proven background in sales, branding, training & development, leadership coaching, facilitation, change management, business development and professional speaking – experience that she has cultivated over many years.
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Jaime, I’ll probably come across as a Grammar Nazi, but it hurt my eye so much that I have to point it out: tasks are not ‘overdo’, they are ‘overdue’.
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