The word “paranoia” conjures negative thoughts, so why is it so important for sales success?
Any dictionary will define paranoia as a mental case, of unjustified suspicion and mistrust of other people. However, paranoia is actually good, in fact vital for sales success.
The big boys in the corporate world all have healthy doses of paranoia, and they became successful. Perhaps “paranoia” could be defined in another way; of being ever vigilant of your competitors and of being extremely sensitive about the welfare of your customers.
Yes, in this fast changing world, technology that pervades daily life could mean ‘success of yesterday’ not guaranteeing ‘success of the future’. What made a company great could be totally obliterated by a new product powered by new changes, say technology.
Remember Kodak? That’s my favourite. I used to have a Kodak camera, and filled with
Kodak film. Now there is no more Kodak; instead there are many new brands; brands that embraced a new digital. Kodak was complacent in thinking that they are too big to fail. What a disaster! They are extinct now and it’s a lesson for all corporations; do not be complacent.
Companies today know now that to be continually successful, they have to be paranoid
Constantly looking over your shoulders for competitors’ activities, constantly be on guard for forthcoming technologies, constantly striving to be your customers’ best friend; these are traits that make sales people successful.
Of course, there is the money. Even if their earnings have doubled, they would want to double it again the next year. They are never satisfied. They would think
ingenious ways to sell more, to get more customers, to get more satisfaction. That’s paranoia, but it is good.
Being paranoid is what will ensure that they will never end up a failure. As what was written in a Hubspot blog, ‘success is 98% mental’. Paranoia is a mental state of mind.
However, paranoia should be controlled. Too much of anything is not good even if they start off as being positive.
Constantly turning up the dial would eventually lead to catastrophe, possibly to ill
health. Paranoia should be conducted in a wise manner. If competitors’ is the problem, there is no harm in being friendly to them.
Imagine being friends with your biggest competitor, getting to know his
products or services, how he manages his team and eventually knowing everything about the competition. What an absolute advantage!
So, there is no need for tension, no need for bad mouthing but instead a healthy
respect for one another.
A healthy dose of paranoia is vital for sales success but too much will lead to several consequences. Be wise and be mindful for everytime you start getting paranoid!