Saturday afternoon I was scuba diving off of West Palm Beach, Florida (in front of Donald Trumps new place with the 8,000 square foot living room). The seas were a little rough but otherwise life on the boat “The Wetter, The Better” was pretty good. The first dive after lunch was supposed to be a drift dive into 70 feet of water. That’s deeper than I had ever been before, but I had a good team with me so I was ready. After we all entered the water and signaled OK, we all started down.
Something went wrong.
I started down a little slower than the rest but thought I’d quickly catch up. Wrong! The current was so strong that we were all quickly separated and I was left by myself. I was watching my gauges as I descended past 60 feet and still could not see the ocean floor. At 70 feet, still no floor and no team, it’s a little disconcerting to be in a totally grey world, dropping into the abyss and getting well beyond your comfort zone.
This is where training counts.
With the equivalent of a 7 story building of water above me and no idea what to do next, I was a little concerned. That’s when my training kicked in. My instructor had taught us how to get out of situations like that. I had been taught how to quickly surface from those depths without killing myself. (Done wrong, the air in my lungs would more than triple in volume!)
A few minutes later, I was on the surface and waiting for the boat. No harm done and ready for the next dive.
When does your training kick in?
Any good sales person will get themselves in over their head from time to time. You’ll be faced with a tougher customer or a bigger opportunity than you ever faced before. This is the time to go back to your training.
Questions will save you.
Whenever you start to feel stressed and don’t know what to say, start asking questions. Questions are your emergency kit for all situations. Simply asking, “Please tell me a little more about that?” or “What could we do to help you?” or “What would you like us to be able to do for you?” will often turn it all around. Once the prospect is talking, you’ll have the opportunity to regroup and prepare your next move.
Good training will prepare you to go where others fear to tread. It will give you the confidence to call on CEO’s and bigger accounts. As long as you know that you can always handle the situation, you will have what it takes to constantly move your career up to the next level.
Ever been stuck and panicked on a sales call? Send me your favorite stories and I’ll put them on my blog (and omit your name!).
Have a great week and keep selling,
Steve Waterhouse is Principal and Founder of Predictive Results (www.predictiveresults.com), a sales consulting and training company that helps companies dramatically increase their sales. He can be reached at 904-269-2299 or www.predictiveresults.com.