There I was, on the road and bleeding…
Like many of you, I have been riding bikes since the days when we were putting baseball cards in the spokes to make noise. Today, I ride as a way of cross-training from my running. It saves my knees and legs…usually.
Last week, on my regular route, I was just about to cross highway 220 when it happened. I was waiting at the light with one hand on the cross-walk button and my right pedal positioned to get me moving when the light changed. The next thing I knew I was on the ground and bleeding from my right knee and elbow.
I was confused!
I had no idea why I had fallen, but I was sure that it must have been amusing for the people driving by. Probably looked like Arte Johnson on his tricycle on Laugh-in (for those under 40, see the re-runs).
We run into similar situations in sales all the time. You lose a sale and don’t know why. One day you are forecasting the business and spending the upcoming commission and the next day the client buys from someone else. It happens in other ways, too. You make dozens of cold calls and get nowhere. You send hundreds of letters with no results.
You are failing with no idea why.
With a new year in front of us, it is a great time to take an inventory of what is not working in your sales career. You work in a business where you are surrounded by people who have had great success and want to help you succeed. Bosses, mentors, trainers and peers are willing to help if you are ready to ask. The book stores and web sites are full of great articles and programs to teach you new techniques.
I often see the best sales people coming back to my training programs for a second and third time. They all tell me the same thing: I just need to learn and apply one thing today to make it worth the time. They know they will always have room to grow and they love it. You can see it in their eyes when they discover the key to one of their personal issues. They can’t wait to get back to work to try it. Like any performer or athlete, sales professionals need constant tuning to be their best.
I found it.
Well, when I got myself back together and started to ride off, I found the culprit. As I had pushed off, I had broken my toe clip. Once I saw the broken strap, it was obvious why I had fallen. When I showed it to the guy at the bike store, he laughed. “They haven’t used leather straps like that for 10 years”, he said. “They broke too often!” Now he tells me. I replaced it with a new, up-to-date, stronger, nylon strap and I should be good for many more years of riding.
What old ideas are you still hanging on to?
What weak area are do you need to strengthen? How are you going to do it? Make a plan for the New Year to improve one or two areas of your selling technique or process. Put it on your calendar and make it happen. If you need suggested resources, just drop me a note. If you want to receive my “10 Ways to Generate Great Sales Leads”, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve got all kinds of great recommendations for you. Feel free to ask anytime as you build your personal plan.