Sales Leads and Opportunities are Not Linear
If you are patient and wait for inspiration, it will come. But that is only true for artists, not salespeople. You have to do the daily activities to keep filling the pipeline. But be careful, if you have your head down, and your nose to the grindstone, you might miss the sales opportunity right next to you.
The inspiration for this post comes from 2 places. First, Ben an advocate with Environment America- Mass, and a fantastic blues musician and dear friend, Nr. Nick.
As I sat on the front porch of the house, I became aware of Ben knocking on neighbor's doors with a clip board in his hand. I half listened to his pitch to get the person on the other side of the door. Head down, his script memorized, he diligently went to each door. "Crap", I thought, "if I move he is going to see me in my bright red coat and make a bee-line for me." A few times Ben looked in my direction, but he had his routine and continued house to house on the other side of the quiet street.
As soon as I saw him get to the last house on the street and turn up to my side of the street, I made a bee-line for the door. I warned my friend who I was staying with, this kid is going to knock on the door and here is his pitch. Don't answer the door if you have better things to do. Then I locked the door and headed up stairs. He missed his chance!
The moral of the beginning of this story? If Ben had looked up from his practiced routine, he would have seen me on the front porch. He might have had a chance, but he ignored it, probably thinking I will still be home when he got to my friend's door.
Instead, I locked the door AND told my friend not to answer it.
The Trouble Maker Made Me Do it!
Now, my friend is the trouble maker. And she was looking for a distraction to amuse her while she avoided her 20 page legal paper. She goaded me, she wanted to "see me in action". How could I say no?
So with a gleam in my eye, and a glass of wine in my hand, I opened the door to greet Ben, almost feeling sorry for him. Like a cat playing with a wounded mouse feels sorry for their prey.
And Ben surprised me a little! He saw my tee-shirt for Mr. Nick's latest CD. "No" he chuckled "I don't have any tricks."
One thing a sales assessment test can tell you.
It made me pause for a split second. Then I asked Ben if it was ok for me to write a blog post about him. That made him a little nervous. "Uh, ummm, about me? Will it be in a good light?"
And so it began. How do you think it went? What sales weakness did Ben reveal to me with that question? Do you or your sales people suffer from it? If you could know that for certain, would you want to know?
Want to know how the conversation went? Stay tuned for the next few blog posts and see if your sales and marketing teams are making the same mistakes that Ben and Environment America are making, and what you can do to fix it.