Three Things I’ve Learned From 2019 Thus Far

Joe Brownill
June 17, 2019

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Fast approaching the half-way point of 2019, I reflect on the three key things that 2019 has taught me so far about myself and the environment around me.

 

1. In Your 20’s Make Decisions With Your Heart… Not Your Brain

Now, being that I’m only 24 you’re probably thinking ‘You haven’t lived through your 30’s yet how can you make such a statement’. And you’re probably right. But this statement resonates with my career decisions that I’ve made in 2019, and here’s why.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky as my brother who at one point in his childhood decided to set his sights on becoming an architect… Well done Tom. I fell under the bracket of ‘unsure what the hell I want to do so can you please stop asking me Aunty Polly’ which led me to believe I’d have to dip my toes into a couple of job roles and a couple of industries to find a best fit for myself.41U668skjjL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ (2)

I ended up working in financial services in Geneva as my first ‘proper job’ after university. Big mistake. But that was part of the process which I had accepted. Upon deciding I wanted to leave and return to the UK I had two job offers on the table, one from a large multinational law firm, and the other from a smaller tech start-up. I found myself to be incredibly indecisive, being set on one and then in the next 5 minutes being set on the other. My brain (+ parents + close friends) leaned towards the large multinational law firm, as it was a secure job with a secure company and presented me with a nice corporate ladder to climb (slowly no doubt). But my heart leaned heavily towards the tech start-up, it was exciting, you couldn’t pinpoint where the company would be in a year, the role progression outclassed the law firms; it had piqued my interest. I was at a crossroad, follow my brain or my heart?

I ended up following my brain and accepted the law firms offer and called up the tech start-up to decline… as soon as I’d put the phone down my gut instinct was that I’d made a mistake; I quickly reversed my decision and followed my heart. I’ve never looked back since, it’s been the best decision of 2019 (so far). In fact, in my first week I received a cold call from a fella selling a similar service to what I would have been selling at the other company, much to the amusement of the office all miming at me ‘this could be you’, this cemented that I’d made the right choice. I know that if I had been in my 30s I would have definitely taken the more ‘secure’ offer from the large multinational company. I’ve learned to take calculated risks in my 20s… what’s the worst that could happen?

 

2. Consistency Breeds Success

‘No consistency, no success’ is a tagline that I’ve seen around LinkedIn a lot. Before working in the sales industry, I didn’t quite see eye to eye with it. I always fell under the bracket of ‘if only he applied himself he could achieve so much more’ category growing up. Basically, I was winging my way through life and would always land on my feet… jammy b***ard.

Within sales I’ve noticed that it is all about consistency; albeit, with a sprinkling of talent. I’ve sat across from some incredibly talented salespeople who could make 25 calls a day and book 10, but wouldn’t pick up the phone… no consistency. I’ve also sat across from people who would make 100 calls and book 0, but they’d do that day in day out. Relentless determination Vs I know I’m good at this, so I don’t need to try.

Who do you think is more successful now? …the person who is more willing to commit themselves consistently every single day, rain or shine. The takeaway was: it doesn’t matter what talent you think you have, it needs to be applied consistently to see results; unless you’ve got a 4 leaf clover to hand. This method very much resonated in my marathon training earlier in the year, which saw 2 and a half months’ worth of consistent training see me over the line in London (in 4:30).

Applying this to my current working world of B2B customer experience has been an easy comparison. I’ve learnt that if you consistently demonstrate value to your business partners, they’re going to take notice and more than likely they’ll continue to work with you as a bond is formed and loyalty fosters in the relationship. If you never demonstrate value or take a half-hearted attempt, then you run the risk of losing out to another company which does; which can very easily happen in today’s marketplaces. If you’re not willing to go the extra mile, almost certainly someone else will. If we apply and demonstrate good practices consistently, good things will happen.

 

3. The Nice Guy Always Wins… Eventually

The last line above runs quite nicely into this next part. If you practice what you preach consistently, which is an honest and holistic message, then things will fall into place; with time. ‘The good guy never wins’ is a classic saying which I feel is a bit of a taboo personality in sales; which I whole heartedly disagree with. Yes, you might lose out on some short-term victories because you weren’t ‘ruthless’ or ‘cold-hearted’ enough, but without doubt you’ll win in the long run, if you’re persistent enough. And the long run is far more important than the short.

2019 has taught me that demonstrating good practices consistently will reap rewards, if you’re patient enough. A reputation takes years to build and minutes to destroy. The sole driver of not achieving this is impatience, people want results now and aren’t willing to put in the work behind the scenes to achieve it (I’ve seen renowned sales people destroy a big ticket sale due to impatience which turned into passive aggressiveness which in turn chased the customer away; no doubt to a competitor). In doing so, they tarnish good brands and devalue the sales industry in the UK, which has a big stigma against it; unlike in the USA where they are loved and adored.screen-shot-2018-01-06-at-9-32-01-am_origThis is ‘nice guy’ approach that we have taken at Clientshare in being transparent, honest and finding a fit rather than forcing a product on someone just for a sale is refreshing to be a part of. Albeit, we’re still young in our outbounding phase so only time will tell.

 

Summary

So that was my 3 cents on the first half of 2019. In honesty there’s a possibility that all of the above is completely wrong and in the next 6 months I’ll say completely the opposite, but make of it as you will. It’s always good to reflect on what you’ve learnt over a time period to 1) See what worked and 2) Not to make the same mistake twice.

#CustomerExperience #CX #Clientshare #B2BCX #B2Bsales #Experiencematters