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Sales Talk: The Three Buckets Revisited

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As I sat in the car with Tom Daly and Kyle York on the way back from our big sales meeting (the same trip where I discussed my ideas on the three buckets of control), I had no idea it would create such a positive influence on the leaders of this company. Aside from Kyle’s blog post, our CEO Jeremy also gave a company-wide lesson on it last week at our monthly employee meeting.

While it’s flattering to see the top people here take ideas like this to heart, it was also great to hear their individual takes on the three bucket idea and what it meant to them.

I thought both Jeremy and Kyle’s opinions were fascinating and brought something to light that I didn’t even think about: the concept of constantly working toward moving things you can’t do anything about (bucket 3) to something you can influence (bucket 2) and moving things you can influence into things you can control (bucket 1).

Dyn Three BucketsThe question is how does one accomplish this?

We certainly know that complaining about items in bucket 3 gets you nowhere and you inevitably end up being the turd in the company punch bowl. In my opinion, the best way to move things in the direction of control is to absolutely own everything already in that bucket.

If we relate it back to sales and you’re a stud at prospecting, cold calling and managing relationships, you’re going to have a greater influence on the items in bucket two.

What influence/feedback are you going to take more seriously: the person that’s been crushing sales/prospecting for the past year or the person skating by and complaining about the way things are? The answer is obvious.

By owning bucket 1, you create a positive influence in bucket 2, resulting in more control as your peers trust you to own more responsibility. With greater responsibility, you begin to find that items previously in bucket 3 trickle down into bucket 2 because your influence is realized in more areas.

In the past, I had always thought of bucket 3 as things that can never be changed and that you just have to accept them as the way they are. That’s really not the case. The key is you have to figure out how to move those items out of bucket 3 before you can change or influence them.

In my opinion, it always comes back to the first bucket and maintaining a laser focus at things I have total control over.

If you can truly own that, more and more things will trickle down into your influence and control.

John D'Amato is a Partner Representative at Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @JohnnyDamato and @dyn.

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