As many of you know, I am a huge college football fan. I love the National Championship game (and playoffs) regardless of who is playing because there is so much “life” going on during the games. This week’s game between LSU and Clemson was no disappointment. Many of my friends turned the game off in the third quarter when LSU went up by ten. It is amazing that in the second quarter, LSU was down by ten points and looking like they were going to have a very tough night. I watched every play because I have so much interest and respect for what it takes to play on that national stage.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry It’s that time of year again when elite sellers are putting together their plan for 2020. Early in my career, I remember having an incredible year of performance. I was the top rep in my region and preparing to go to Hawaii for President’s Club. It was, by far, my biggest income year to date. Sounds like a great story, right? It was actually one of my darkest hours in selling. Let me set the stage for you.
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The other day I was working with a seller who was a little frustrated with how hard it is to get people on the phone. He told me about a prospect who was furious when she realized she was on the other end of a cold call. The prospect yelled, “Are you really cold calling me right now? Why would you waste your time and more importantly why would you attempt to waste my time?!” The seller asked me if I could believe that someone would be so rude and my answer was an emphatic YES! I asked the seller, “What was your answer to the prospect?” There was a bit of a pause, so I interjected, “There is your answer”.
As many of you know, my mother, Eileen Kaplan was a therapist who worked with the military. One of the greatest lessons that she taught me was making me stand in my moment of pain. This used to bug the stuffing out of me when I was younger because she always had a way of getting me to face reality. Today, as I travel around the world working with some of the coolest companies on the planet, this lesson is as relevant as ever.
We’ve done hundreds of deliveries around our Command of the Message® methodology and there’s one topic that frequently comes up in our initial facilitation, even when we do refresher sessions for experienced reps. People continually struggle with defining the metrics in a sales conversation.
Well it happened again! I woke up the day after a big sporting event and read the news a little perplexed. The headline read, “Super Bowl draws lowest TV audience in more than a decade”. Another read, “Boring game plus New Orleans rebellion leads to ratings drop”.