by Tom Reilly

In the 1979 movie “10,” the Dudley Moore character falls hopelessly under the spell of the Bo Derek character. His quest is to capture the affection of this beauty. In the end, he discovers the reality that no one is a 10 and wishes to return to his prior life.

Years ago, while rifling through the seminar evaluations from a good three days with a group, I was getting drunk on the number of 10’s (on a 10-point scale) that I received from the group. They were confirming my observations that this was a good week. Until, I got to the evaluation from the most engaged participant in the group and the strongest advocate of Value-Added Selling. I expected a 12 on this 10-point scale. He gave me a 9 and a sobering lesson. He commented on the evaluation, “No one gets a 10.” I was humbled, and rightly so.

No one is a 10. If you think you are a 10, you are really an 8. One point deducted for lack of insight and another to make room for growth. Thinking you are a 10 is either arrogance or complacency. The former says, “I am good enough as is—take it or leave it.” The latter says, “I’m okay where I am and don’t want to push myself to get better.” Both premises are false.

If you accept the thesis that no one is a 10, look for areas in your life where you can improve. For example, your company’s customer experience cannot be a 10 because it means it cannot get better. Don’t get drunk on your own good press. Ask instead, “Where can we improve?” Customers mislead us in customer satisfaction surveys when they give us the highest rating. It feeds our arrogance and starves our motivation to improve.

Where can you get better in your job: selling skills, product knowledge, relationship skills, attitude, organizational skills, customer knowledge, technology, or internal selling skills? You are not a 10. I am not a 10. We can all get better at what we do. Join us in May for a two-day Value-Added Selling learning experience. We can help you gain some traction on your quest to grow. 

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