Don’t Touch the Stove

Some people have to burn their hand. They have to touch the stove for themselves. You can tell them that the stove is hot and that they are going to injure themselves. You can show them that glowing blue flame is proof that it is too hot to touch, and that they should proceed with caution. You can share with them the bad experience you had when you touched the stove yourself and how you learned not to do so. You can show them your scar. All to no avail, they have to touch the stove for themselves.

One the Hard Way

Cold calling isn’t easy. Connecting on LinkedIn and Tweeting is. The professionals will tell you that you have to make your calls. They’ll inform you that the fastest way to connect with the contacts you need to schedule with is to make a phone call. You like email and social media better, so you double down on a strategy that is “anything but the phone.” One quarter with no deals and you’re convinced you need more time. Two quarters and you’ve gotten burned wasting a half a year.

Because you are not comfortable asking for the commitments you need, you mistakenly believe that you can win your big opportunity without gaining the agreements you need. It doesn’t matter that other people have made this mistake or that this commitment is a crucial element of your sales process. Instead, you have to get burned learning this lesson for yourself.

You can spend time with receptive people who have no compelling need to buy what you sell. You can convince yourself that this approach is easier and will be more productive than pursuing the difficult to reach dream clients who already have a strategic partner that provides them with what you sell. But as time passes by without a win, you eventually get burned.

I Promise, It’ll Burn You

There isn’t any reason to make the mistakes that other people have already made. You don’t have to make major mistakes that cost you time—and the results that you need now–learning the hard way.

If you are going to be courageous, then don’t waste that courage making mistakes that you could easily avoid by applying the courage to taking the path that frightens you. Don’t fear the wrong danger.

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Filed under: Sales

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