According to author Stephen R. Covey, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”—clever, funny and true. To be successful, you must maintain your focus.

The main thing, when you are engaged with a client or prospect, is to create value—during every single interaction. The more value you create, the more valuable you become. The greater the perception of value, the greater the likelihood of gaining a commitment that moves you forward together.

If you focus on getting a commitment at the expense of creating value, your goal will elude you. If your main thing is increasing revenue, then creating value for your clients—the thing that brings referrals, repeat customers and rave reviews—will suffer. And so will your revenue.

The thing about making value creation the main thing is that it covers every interaction. You make gaining an appointment more likely by creating value during your nurturing and prospecting efforts. You make needs-analysis meetings more valuable by helping your clients understand their real needs. And you make presentations more effective by sharing and confirming the vision you and your prospect have built together.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. And the main thing is to create value during each and every interaction.

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S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/