The Difference Between Knowing and Doing

Seat belts save lives. We all know that it is safer to drive with our seatbelts on yet how often do we fail to buckle up? It is estimated that 25% of Americans do not use seat belts on a regular basis. It is improbable that after twenty years of education programs those people don’t know it is safer to drive while wearing seatbelts. Obviously, there is a difference between knowing something and doing something.

Properly trained salespeople know that they must prospect new customers, service current customers, and consistently schedule their days to meet production goals. Why is it necessary for sales managers to spend time every day pushing their salespeople to accomplish what they know they should be doing? Because there is a difference between knowing and doing.

Understanding that there is that gap between knowing and doing is the first step in being a powerful leader. If, as a manager, you then begin to see why your people are not doing what they need to do to succeed you will start to help them to close the gap.

Take for example an average producer, who usually ends the month middle of the pack. If he suddenly drops to the bottom of your sales charts you can easily identify there is a gap somewhere, whether it’s prospecting, followup or scheduling. The real skill is finding out why the gap has grown and reversing the trend. It may be a personal issue that has diverted attention away from what needs to be done at work, and while it is not our job as leaders to fix personal issues it is our job to redirect focus.

Our goal has to be to make sure our people know what is expected of them every day and then to be vigilant about keeping the gap between that knowledge and what they are doing as small as possible. What have you done today to close the gap?


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