What’s the ROI (Risk of Ignorance)?

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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ROII recently read a great interview from my friend Jeff Simmons (B2B Marketing Portal) who was asking Jill Rowley (of Oracle) about her social selling adventures. Jill is a leading authority on social selling and she talked about this idea of Risk of Ignoring (ROI) as the main KPI that we should all be measuring ourselves by. What a powerful concept, I wondered. It prompted me to think about the Risk of Ignorance and how it affects us.

If you work in a corporate environment (which many of us do), then you’ve recently sat in a meeting and heard the most colloquial corporate saying there is: What’s the ROI? The Return on Investment KPI is what makes the world tick. Balanced choices are made as a result.

What’s the best ROI for you in the following cases?

  • Cook a home cooked meal or microwave a TV dinner?
  • Buy the Nissan Leaf or the new Lincoln Navigator?
  • Crest or Colgate?
  • Shop for your spouse at Nordstrom’s or Old Navy?
  • Hire the kitchen contractor for $40,000 or get an IKEA kitchen that’s more affordable?

The need to measure and split test the effectiveness of each choice (or a set of choices) is something we do every day. You won’t always make the right choice, but the key here is that you learn from the not-so-good ones, pick yourself up and move on. Learning is fun. It’s done through lots of failure.

But what happens when you don’t learn? What happens when you choose to conscientiously ignore a decision or something you have to do from your pre-defined list of choices? It’s human nature to ignore the uncomfortable but that’s where growth happens, right?

Comfort Zone

This is why you can’t choose to ignore things that will make you a stronger and balanced person.

You can’t ignore:

  • Spending time with your family – later may not come.
  • Traveling to Europe, Asia, Africa, or Disney World.
  • Trying out for the basketball team.

And you most certainly can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore how your world as a sales professional is changing.

You can’t ignore that customers are:

  • Picking up the phone less.
  • Not getting back by e-mail.
  • Discovering without you.
  • Finding answers without you or;
  • Connecting with your competitor’s right under your nose.

Risk seems logical and it’s very natural to listen to. It’s there as a primordial signal to forewarn us of hidden dangers. But ultimately, we’re the ultimate losers because all it does is paralyze us.

Success comes from trying something new and that means risk just has to be ignored. Don’t risk ignorance but ignore the risk instead. What a novel concept. I guess this is why people are successful; they learn to shut off/live with the part of their psyche that’s getting in the way of trying the new.

The Bottom Line

Action breeds results. They may not be the results you want but you will be learning in the process, either way. That said, give social selling a try. It’s not difficult; it’s just different. If you need help with it, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Onwards and upwards, friends.

To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine or 9 Steps to a Winning LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals. For tips, tricks and more rants, we could always set-up a time to chat using my below schedule …

Amar Sheth


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