Just before your timeline gets ambushed with the usual “Your Best Year Ever” type stuff, here’s a question for you:


Q: Which do you choose; £3m in cash now or a single penny that doubles in value each day in January?

A: If you’re willing to invest in the process, the penny wins by a mile. But why is it such a tough decision?

Let’s imagine your ‘bezzie’ takes the £3m option and you select the penny. On 10th January, your penny has grown to £5.12p, giving you just enough for a pint of Guinness while they qwoff bottles of Petrus (1961) at Le Gavroche with some ‘new-found’ friends.

Ten days later, they’re getting ‘papped’ with Simon Cowell at Sandy Lane,  Barbados while you’re left at home, doubting your choice and deciding whether to pay-off last year’s Xmas credit card bill as your original penny has only managed to grow to a paltry £5,243. 

However, that same steady daily mathematical growth improvement continues on to 29th January where your original 1p is now worth a whopping £2.7m!

What’s more, at the end of the month, it has grown to a staggering £10,737,418! Not such a poor choice after all eh?   

This phenomenon is called the compound effect and this hypothetical example helps show why consistency over time is so important. If you’re willing to play the long-game, the process of ‘little and often’ can really payback big time!

TIP: You know that LinkedIn list of yours with all of those forgotten names on it, well let’s get that list working for you.

ACTION: Draw up a new list of 25 people that you should really be keeping in touch with – people who can directly or indirectly influence your sales success; AKA your ‘Key People of Influence’.

Start with the name at the top and message them using a relevant greeting like “Congrats on the Trade Show Award!”, “how’s the new job?” or “that coffee we keep talking about, what date works best for you?”. You’ll find their email address on their LinkedIn page, but if you really want to accelerate the process (and you’re not ready to call them just yet), send a hand-written greetings card in advance and then make contact.

When you’ve messaged them, drop their name to the bottom of the list, repeating the process with a new name each day until the first name appears at the top of your list again. Don’t stop here! Keep going back down the list in exactly the same way during February – that 5 minutes each day will be one of your best investments of time.

OUTCOME: Many, if not all of these KPI’s will reply and hey-presto, you’ve re-established some meaningful and very useful relationships. They’ll say good things about you in the company of others; in-time they’ll introduce you to other KPI’s and they will look to find ways to support you in your business during the year.

Stay in touch with them, follow-through on any actions that your conversations create and during next year, you’ll see a tangible ROI as the compound effect delivers you a payback over and above your original, small investment.

Persistence is the key. If you’re looking for more ideas to jump-start next year’s sales activity, there’s three more tips in my post Too much white space in your diary“.


About the author: Matt Sykes is founder of Sales Training company Salescadence. He works predominantly with Personality-led Business Owners to help them convert more of their leads into customers via transformational products which improve Sales Mindset, Sales Ability & Sales Process.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want more tips like these, head over to the website and check out the free resources page.
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