“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”.
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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”.
I have been very fortunate to be a part of some great teams in my life. My freshman year in college I played football for the Defending National Champions of I-AA (now D-I), Boise State University. I transferred my sophomore year to Bowling Green State University in Ohio and played for one of the greatest teams in BGSU history. During the 1985 season we were ranked 20th in the nation ahead of some of the powerhouse schools like Texas and Georgia!