This article The Sales and Marketing Responsiveness Imperative was originally published on on 1/27/14 and is republished in its entirety here. 

With 2013 wrapped up, if I asked you how much your company spent last year to generate marketing leads, could you tell me? Could you tell me the percentage of those leads that your company followed up on?
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“Life is to give, not to take”

– Victor Hugo

Let’s look a three things:

2. What
drives those actions.
3. What’s
behind what drives those actions.

Your actions are what are clearly visible to the external world. You act. They see.

What you experience are the consequences of those actions. Sometimes the consequences are immediate and sometimes they are not. But consequences are there for every action.

It seems like your actions play a VERY important role in how fast you will grow in your career.

What drives those actions is only partially visible.

This is a cocktail that is a mix of several ingredients that include but not limited to:

* Your ability

* Your motivation

* Your ambition

* Your values

* Your presence of mind etc

What drives the actions is more important than the actions themselves because they are the source of your actions.

Now, beneath what drives the actions is something even more important – something that’s MOSTLY invisible and private, something that drives these drivers. The core of that something is your INTENT and PHILOSOPHY.  It is how you look at life and why you are doing what you are doing.

Swamy Parthasarathy, in his brilliant book on Vendanta says that the dignity of human race is founded on the principle of giving. “Be content to serve,” pleaded Christ.  While giving just seems like the right thing to do, it makes sense even from a practical perspective because it hands you the insanely simple key to boosting your leverage – the power of reciprocation.

Your intent may be invisible to the other person but it is NOT something that you can hide from yourself. Good intentions such as the ones that urge you to serve first will lend you power and the not-so-good intentions will take away some power from you.

When you have the right intentions, your confidence will grow compared to when you have not-so-right intentions.

You still need to WIN the deals, as intentions alone will not get you there. What the right intentions will give you is a head start on others who have questionable ones.

Take an example that we are all familiar with – Zappos model of serving customers. If you are shopping at Zappos, you can order half-a-dozen shoes to preview at the convenience of your home. You can pick one and return the rest. Zappos will gladly pay for shipping both ways. It is a core part of the Zappos business model that has “intent to serve” at its foundation.

Think about it: Who will customers want to buy from?

A. Those that have an intent-to-serve OR
B. Those that have the intent-to-serve-themselves

While the answer is A, I am in now way suggesting that you should sacrifice everything to serve. If you don’t take care of yourself, soon your business will be history and you won’t have the capacity to serve anymore.  You need to ensure that you won’t kill yourself while you are serving others. In the Zappos example, it costs a lot of money for Zappos to ship free both ways. Zappos had to ensure that the numbers work out well for the company to survive and then thrive.

In summary, you need to start with an “intent to serve” but always ensure that you continue to grow the“capacity to serve.”

Other Posts in this series 

A is for Alignment (title changed on blog) 
B is for Bonding
C is for Confidence
D is for Detachment
E is for Excellence in Small Things 
F is for Follow Up (On Huffington Post)
G is for Grateful
H is for Hunger to Succeed
I is for Intent to Serve 
J is for Judgment (On Huffington Post)
K is for Knowledgeable
L is for Likeable
M is for Margin
N is for Nurturing (On Huffington Post)
O is for Onward
P is for Please
Q is for Questions (On Huffington Post)
R is for Resourcefulness (On Huffington Post)
S is for Storytelling
T is for Teaching

U is for Upbeat

V is for Velocity

W is for Word of Mouth

X is for X-Ray Vision

Y is for YourStory

Z is for Zeal

Topics: sales productivity


“The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion… It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.”

– Alexander Graham Bell

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