What changes in your organisation would create the greatest advantage for you?


The cost of getting the selection wrong is at least three, if not seven times salary

Coach or Train

What skills do your people need to make the greatest sustainable improvement?

A blindfolded chimp could be a highly paid investment banker

A blindfolded chimp could be a highly paid investment banker

The efficient market hypothesis (EMH) is a controversial economic theory that states that it is impossible to beat the market except by chance and led to the argument that a blindfolded chimpanzee throwing darts at the Wall Street Journal would perform as well as highly-paid investment managers. First developed in the 1960s by Professor Eugene Fama the theory was widely accepted until the 1990s, when behavioural economists began to question its validity. While empirical evidence can be used to support both sides of the argument many point to a wealth of data showing that few active managers consistently outperform the overall index, such as Warren Buffett.
Now that may cause an eyebrow or two to be raised at the interviewing and assessment skills of those who employ market analysts, but it also suggests that decisions based solely on logic and experience are not necessarily those that produce the star performers. How many times have we all thought of a brilliant idea, perhaps in the bath, the pub or while watching TV, which has subsequently been lost, or at least forgotten. Why? Maybe, just maybe, that is the idea that will make the difference, but too often we dampen it down by pouring our own cold water of doubt over it. How about having a Brainstorming session with other members of the team to allow your creative juices to flow?

Have a brainstorming session with a radical and stretching topic. For example:  

  • Where can we find a new open market?
  • How can we create a significant difference between us and our competition?
  • How can we double our sales?
  • Which ten prospects could double our sales?
  • Where could I increase my activity by only 1% that would make a difference in productivity by 10%?
  • How could we increase prices by 2% while retaining all our clients?
  • How could we get 10 referreals from every one of our clients?
  • How can we add 100 new customers in 6 months?
Most people stop when it gets to 8-9 ideas and they ‘dry up’, so don’t have a limit by saying for example ’20 ways to...’ as this puts a mental ‘lid’ on our thinking.  People will dry up at some point but keep going because this is the time when the brain moves out of the logical left hand side where all the obvious ones are that come out first, to the right side where we can be far more creative – and often it is this side of the brain where the best ideas can be found. Turn off the tap that produces that torrent! If you like, think of your hunches as a magic wand – if you had one, what would you produce by waving it that would make a difference to your sales performance? And then consider this question; what’s stopping you? Maybe there really is some good, sound, legitimate reason, but I urge you to challenge each and every answer that you can come up with. Knock over those skittles of doubt and let the magic wand weave a spell that changes the thought processes that you have.

Spoon feed those hunches with the fertilizer of belief.

Let them grow and see if you can outperform those chimps in New York.

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