Do Your Principles Match Your Methods?

Read this quote carefully as it could just jump-start your career, and your life:

“The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.

These twenty-three words by essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, speak volumes.

The basic principles are what is important, not the methods. If you ignore the principles and try one method after another, you’re heading for trouble.

Success stems from having good grasp on the principles first, and then selecting effective methods of applying them.

Chasing after the newest and latest sales method is like grasping at straws in a desperate and almost certainly futile effort to save oneself from failure. Neglect, ignore, or violate the guiding principles underlying all selling and stress, trouble, and failure are sure to become your constant companions.

It boils down to this:

Principles are WHY.  Methods are HOW.

Consider this: When your methods reinforce your principles – your principles empower your methods. 

Both principles and methods are critical to everything you do in the sales profession, as they make up the woof and warp, or the underlying structure of all successful actions and activities.

Now, lets take a closer look.

Principles
A principle is a law or rule that when followed, produces predictable, inevitable consequences; it teaches you WHY to do or not to do something.

For example, take the laws of nature. When you know the law of gravity, you become aware of the consequences of violating this law and know why it is in your best interests to follow it.It is the same with any activity.

Principles reveal why the methods work; they are few in comparison to methods, but far more important. Violate them at your peril.  

Methods
A method is a means or manner of procedure, a regular way of accomplishing something. Methods are as varied and numerous as there are individual men and women.

Methods show you a way to apply a principle. Both principles and methods must be present in proper balance to ensure longevity in your career.

Again, from Mr. Emerson:

“If you learn only methods, you’ll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods.”

Axiom: Any method will work, if it aligns with the principles.

Corollary: No method will work if it violates the principles.

Once you grasp these simple concepts everything starts to fall into place.

Let your principles drive your methods, not the reverse.

If you find nothing works, change your methods, not your principles!

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2010 – 2030, all rights reserved

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3 Responses to “Do Your Principles Match Your Methods?”

  1. good one
    do you have list of all principles for sales in your book ?
    link to your book
    thx

  2. Yes, I do have a list of all sales principles that will be included in the final published edition of the book.

  3. profile metaya
    your link
    http://www.metaya-danjacobs.com/
    is not working
    you could use autoresponder to audience,
    contact me at my email

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