BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TIPS: Climbing Up, Camping Out or Quitting?
This is the third and final installment of “Bike Riding: Summer Selling” -- reflections on my inaugural 400-mile ride across Iowa (www.Ragbrai.com). Not only was the trip a success, it also confirmed my belief that the best match for cycling endurance is a satisfying performance consulting career with Leader Trends.
Riding Lesson #1 Four or five days of biking can be just as effective as riding the whole 7-day tour. We can find the freedom of the open road and don't have to eat gravel to prove it!
SELLING TIP #1 In sales management, you don’t need to accept every appointment nor attend every meeting to get the job done. Discerning the best use of your time may be more prudent in the long run.
Lesson #2 Being independent does not mean you have to sleep on the ground every night. (By day three of riding, my camping gear was practically mildewing in the humidity and my sleep total was 5 hours!)
TIP #2 In organizing your daily call plan, think twice about keeping your appointment with a prospect who has a bad habit of rescheduling at the last minute. Change it up or insist on an upfront agreement, instead.
Lesson #3 Always accept when an honest, hard-working Midwestern family offers you shelter in a “Barn and Breakfast”. (Here’s the Picture: Watching the Iowa sunset on their back porch, hanging my wet tent out to dry on the fence line, and sleeping in a downy bed in the barn loft.)
TIP #3 With sales quotas to fill and customer deadlines to meet, it may seem like there’s never a good time to take a break from work. But taking time out for R&R in a “B&B” might be the perfect tonic to get you focused for the finish line!
Lesson #4 Like Simon and Garfunkel, I went looking for America in summertime, and found it in the helping hands and warm hearts of my host state's kinfolks.
TIP #4 Look for role models when you set your goals for the year; you may find them in the most unexpected places. Don’t be surprised if your ‘best year’ isn’t on the scoreboard, but the one in which you sought, found and offered inspiration.
Bonus TIP Developing a solid sales repertoire is like building muscle memory. For as long as I have been self-employed, I’ve closed the majority of my contracts in the months of August and December. Why? Two reasons: 1) I’ve been told it can’t be done. And 2) I like to stay busy when everyone else is at rest.
Book recommendation: Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities by Paul Stoltz.