Have you ever taken a shortcut that didn’t work out as planned? Think back to that shortcut. Maybe you missed a turn or a signal. Either way, you veered off course. But you kept going, thinking that you’d eventually get back on the right track. The farther you drove, the more you veered off course. To get back on track, you had to retrace your steps. The shortcut ended up taking even longer than the original route.

Sellers are constantly tempted to take shortcuts—especially in tough times. Sellers take a shortcut when they pitch product before understanding their buyers’ needs. Sellers take another shortcut by pursuing easy-to-access contacts instead of higher-level decision makers. Sellers take another shortcut when they ...

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