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Director of Online Marketing for Salesforce Work.com. Fascinated with all aspects of digital marketing and social business. David has posted 99 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Rumble Strips and Feedback

07.30.2013
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You know how you are sometimes driving down the road and you run a little bit off course? Rumble strips are those lines carved into the side of the road that create a loud noise and vibration. They are there to provide you with the feedback that you’re slightly off the road. Without rumble strips you might run off the road–or far enough onto the shoulder–that something bad happens. Rumble strips also tell you to slow down on freeway off-ramps, that you are going too fast to safely exit.

Rumble strips are annoying. They’re designed to get your attention and provide feedback when feedback is necessary.

Your Rumble Strips Are Quiet

All of the results that you’re generating in sales and business also come with feedback. But most of the feedback doesn’t easily command your attention.

When things are working the feedback is positive. You’re winning opportunities. You’re improving. Things are moving forward for you fast. No alarm bells are sounding. But you’re also provided feedback when things aren’t working quite so well. Even this feedback may not garner your attention.

When your dream clients aren’t responding to your attempts to capture their time and attention it’s feedback that what you’re doing isn’t creating value for them. Their silence is feedback. That silence should jar you to action just like rumble strips.

When your pipeline is shallow, when you don’t have enough opportunities, it’s feedback that your prospecting efforts aren’t working. Maybe it’s feedback that what you’re doing isn’t working, but maybe it’s feedback that you jus taren’t doing enough. Either way, it’s feedback that you need to make some adjustment to what you’re doing, that you’re off course.

When your inside team struggles to execute on what you sold it might be feedback that you’re giving them a poor handoff. Or it might also mean that you’re selling something that your team can’t easily deliver. Maybe your team just needs your help selling inside to acquire the resources they need to execute. More feedback, if you are keen enough to observe the noise your team makes.

The results that you’re producing, good or bad, come with feedback. That uncomfortable feeling you get when things aren’t working is like driving over rumble strips. It’s supposed to warn you, to jar you loose from your comfortable state and make you aware that you need to change. It means you’re slightly (or seriously) off course and need to make corrections.

Pay attention to the rumble strips. Pay attention to the feedback (and remember sometimes the feedback is silence).

Original post

Published at DZone with permission of its author, David Austin.

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