Classics Never Really Get Old


Depending upon your interests, there are some ‘classics’ that everyone enjoys. If you’re into cars it might be the GT 500R Shelby Mustang. If music is your thing perhaps yours is Exile on Main Street by The Stones. Or it could be Casablanca if you’re a movie buff.

For me, one of my classics is Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It just never seems to age and in many respects, it gets better with time. I have also found that it dovetails so well with what we do  at Visualize that I find myself referring to it time and again. Here are but a few key linkages connecting ValueSelling to Covey’s classic:

  • Habit One – Be Proactive
    • We must research the company, the person, and their role in order to be totally prepared for each engagement. This is the best way to instantly gain credibility and be relevant to our clients and prospects.
  • Habit Two – Begin with the End in Mind
    • When we build Mutual Plans we have to have a Time to Value mindset. That means the plan does not end at contract but lays out how we will, together, drive value and build out huge Lifetime Customer Value.
  • Habit Three – Put First Things First
    • Everything begins and ends with the Business Issue – the time-bound metrics that will drive success for the organization. Everyone has one (quota, cost management, improving customer satisfaction, etc.) and uncovering it gets us that much closer to an individual’s reason to change.
  • Habit Four – Think Win-Win
    • Our capabilities must mesh with the prospect’s vision to solve their most pressing problems in the context of the Business Issue.
  • Habit Five – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
    • We are so used to seeing sales “show up and …” (we all know what happens), but Open questions are the gateway to engagement. We must get the perspective of the person on the other side of the table. Simple, effective questions to gain their perspective are the first step.
  • Habit Six – Synergize
    • Putting the “Mutual” in Mutual Plan. If we cooperatively build out the path forward we are truly engaged and in it together with our clients. I also feel we must do a better job of internal collaboration on external facing engagements which ensures we look professional on all fronts and are aligned to value delivery.
  • Habit Seven – Sharpen the Saw
    • How often do we take time to develop our skills? Do we plan for it? Do we add it to our calendars? That is a question we each have to ask ourselves.

Seven habits wrapped up in one classic. Not sure what you consider a classic, but perhaps Mr. Covey’s book should make it to your reading list. To quote Casablanca, “Here’s looking at you kid.”


David is an accomplished ValueSelling Facilitator, Coach, and Practitioner with over 25 years of applied ValueSelling experience. He leverages his leadership experience by guiding sales professionals to become more effective, efficient, and relevant.