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Curiosity Did Not Kill The Cat

Curiosity did not kill the cat. Instead, it was a poor reaction to whatever the cat discovered.

A natural curiosity is vital to success in any endeavor. Norman Vincent Peale, the great author, credited it for his long life. Socrates, one of history's most curious people, didn't killed by curiosity. He was murdered for dispensing advice.

There's a critical distinction to consider when thinking about curiosity:

Curiosity v. Cynicism. In many ways it's similar to the comparison of Optimists and Pessimists.

Curious people yearn to learn because of what they might uncover. Cynical people have no need to learn because they believe that whatever's out there will - undoubtedly - provide no value.

Curiosity drives meaningful sales conversations. That's because the salesperson is asking questions he's genuinely interested in learning answers to.

However, somewhere along the line, a lot of salespeople were told…

"Be like a lawyer. Never ask a question you don't know the answer to."

The problem with that advice is that it can lead to complacency. You can become satisfied with a "good" routine. You'll ask some good questions, get some good answers, make the same good recommendation, and move on. But good is the enemy of great, if you fall into that trap, you're not growing your skill base. There's no telling what you're missing out on. There's also no way to know what your prospects are missing out on.

In order to be wildly successful at sales (or, for that matter, in a sales leadership role), you have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to step out onto limbs, take risks.

Unlike the curious cat, though, you'd better be able to react to whatever surprises lurk behind the new questions you're asking.

Again, it wasn't the curiosity that killed the cat. It was a poor reaction to whatever it discovered.

What are your reactions?