Are you clueless? Does your prospect think so?

cityI get very frustrated with the productivity gurus who advise us that in order to stay more productive, we must NOT pay attention to the news…

…for it distracts us from the work at hand.

I think this is stupid.

And horribly poor advice.

If you cannot pay attention to the world around around you because it makes you less productive, you’ve got bigger problems that we need to talk about.

Look, I am all about stripping away the mental clutter that distracts you from focusing on what matters. But I think you can take this too far.

If you buy into this advice, I think it just means you are lazy.

Lazy? Yes. You simply aren’t willing to pay a little bit of attention to what is happening to not only critical world events, but more importantly, to what is happening in your market space. You just aren’t willing to do the work necessary.

[Oh sure, you have time to watch House of Cards, but not to invest a few minutes on becoming more worldly…]

To give you some context into how I see things, I think one of the reasons things are spiraling out of control in Washington, DC is that the average bloke on the street isn’t paying attention to how bad things are there. If people were cognizant as to how broken DC is, they might rise up to do something about it.

Yeah, I guess what I am saying is this: I don’t necessarily blame the buffoons in Washington. I blame the citzenry that is completely clueless about it.

Our elected officials don’t worry about what you think, because they know most of you aren’t paying attention.

So what does this have to do with business?

1. You can’t engage in meaningful, interesting conversation with prospects if you are clueless to the world around you.

2. In a sales conversation, you have to be relevant. And if you are clueless to the state of the world, you are useless, and will relate to hardly anyone. Or anything they care about.

3. You have to operate in the context other people are functioning in, and if you aren’t paying attention, how in the hell can you possibly do that?

4. And let’s face it…your prospect expects you to be savvy to what’s going on in the world. That’s why they might be willing to pay a premium, for they want you to actually have a clue to what’s happening, to be aware of world events that might impact their business and markets, to be aware of new technologies that might disrupt their industry.

So don’t bury your head in the sand.

With your smart phone or tablet, the world is at your fingertips. Access to any niched information, news, and commentary is available to you with a few clicks or swipes.

Yeah, don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole, and don’t set aside the important, creative work you are supposed to do. It is easy to procrastinate by saying you have to keep an eye on the news.

Build a simple monitoring process that enables you to keep tabs on the important news and events that impact your world.

Your sales skills depend on being relevant. No one wants to talk to the guy that never has any idea about the world events everyone else is talking about…


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Photo via Unsplash.

  • Stephen Lahey

    I guess what you’re trying to say is be more, not less, human. I totally agree.

  • Todd Schnick

    Yes, I guess I am. And it’s easier when you have something to talk about… ;-)
    sent from todd schnick’s iPad, from which he secretly runs NASA. learn more at