How My Dog Taught Me to Improve My Workflows and Make More Sales

The day I adopted my dog I learned a brutal and immediate lesson about myself and my daily habits.

Nothing makes you analyze your life like a 60 pound furbeast jumping on your face at 6 in the morning immediately after she decided to redecorate your living room with your most recent bulk toilet paper purchase from Costco. (The good stuff, might I add).

The first week of having this dog was hell.

She was adopted from a rescue shelter with very little history known about her. Basically, she was just another street dog that had an owner that liked to get violent after a few beers.

Enter me: a bright eyed, bleeding heart that thought “that little bundle of fur is going to be such a bundle of joy. What could go wrong?”.

Everything. Everything could go wrong.

Training began immediately. I used the techniques I best remembered from training my dog growing up. She was almost completely unresponsive to… everything.

However, after a few weeks I started drawing direct parallels between training this adorable Demogorgon and my daily work habits.

Why (a lack of) consistency murdered my ability to get results

So here’s the deal, world. I’m not the most consistent character on planet Earth. Little did I know that this was going to reduce me to cannon fodder in the eyes of my newly adopted furbaby.

You see, much like dogs, workflows require consistency with their implementation. Whenever you are going through a particular workflow in your role you need to understand that ultimately your success will be measured on the results and the metrics that they yield.

You can’t measure success and metrics if they are completely disorganized and ad-hoc.

Are the clients happier? Are your numbers higher? Is one email campaign working better than the other one?

Ever since I began at Process Street my mind has been forced to adapt to a very process (ha!) driven lifestyle.

Everything has a process.

Processes are refined only after a considerable amount of time has been given to them so that the results we use to evaluate them are somewhat sound. Nothing ‘spur of the moment’ is allowed. That is, of course, unless grievous bodily harm is inflicted.

RIP end-of-week Google Hangouts: Drinking edition

My dog is no different. Commands must be issued. Certain behaviors must be reciprocated or no Beggin’ strips for Leia even if she looks adorable with a bow tie on.

This lesson took me about a month to learn. The first two weeks were riddled with “Aww screw it take the treat” or “Sit… no, stand… good dog”. Consistency was killing me. I had to stick to the gameplan. The result otherwise would be a dog that was all fur, no discipline — or a paycheck that was all paper, no dollar sign.

So began the regiment of strict, no caving training. She wouldn’t get a treat she gave me her paw first. Immediate scolding if she went to the bathroom indoors. She couldn’t go on a walk outside unless she sat by the door while I put on her leash and she definitely wouldn’t get dinner until she unhinged our cat, Loki, out of her jaws.

Each time we came back inside after walkies (a word I can no longer say outloud without 4 paws sprinting like an Olympian for the front door) she would slowly respond to “sit”, “shake”, and “articulate Newtonian physics!”.

One month and two days later, I had a dog that wasn’t peeing on brand new carpet, wasn’t pursuing a blood-feud with my cat, was giving me paw for every treat, and waiting by the front door like a Shinto priest and calmly reflecting before each walk.

In my day to day business life, I was trying to implement the same thing.

How I put these teachings into practice at work

Instead of having shorter, more unstructured calls with clients to determine if they were a fit for our product I then began to follow a qualification regiment for every single client I came into contact with. (Of course, that process was built in of Process Street, because we do drink our own Kool-Aid after all.)

This process evolved into our sales qualification process, which we uploaded here:

After a few weeks, without fail, our sales pipeline was almost universally different. What were originally 50 kind-of qualified leads are now a list of 20 clients that I can practically name on a first name basis.

We took consistency and we applied it to our relationship with our clientele.

Long story short, it’s working. Conversions are climbing rapidly and relationships with closed accounts are strengthening.

Trusting on each of our professional experiences and ‘natural ability’ was irrelevant.

The process was the doctrine.

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Vinay Patankar

CEO and Co-Founder of Process Street. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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