This is a guest blog post by David Trapani of Sandler Training – Thank you, David!
Wow, it seems that each family event is a reminder of what we should all be doing in sales and business development.
This past weekend I was at my daughters’ ballet recital. Typically, a two- to three-hour show with kids from 3 – 18 years old. In years past, the time has been spent keeping my sons focused on the show. We bring a few snacks, and the show always has some memorable moments. This year, things were a little different.
Year after year the show goes off without any issue – it is one of the most organized events you can attend with so many kids. The issue: None of the lights in the auditorium worked. This started 45 minutes before show time and lasted 45 minutes past the expected start time.
Finally, the show starts. Act after act we are entertained by these different kids of different ages and different skills. Thirty different acts! Forty-five minutes late for the start and guess what… no issues with my kids.
Then it hit me, there was something different about this year, and somehow I am able to relate it back to selling…
1) Breaking Through Your Comfort Zone
First, during the delay it was so dark that the only light was from cell phones. However, the microphone worked. So the MC asked if anyone knew some jokes. And guess what? My seven year old climbed onto stage, in front of 300 people and told some jokes. He is not a shy kid, but to get in front of 300 people — just awesome. And when he came back to his seat he was so proud.
2) Practice Does Make Perfect
It always surprises me how well these kids do on stage. And then it hit me… practice. These kids go to class for nearly three hours a week. They start in September and finish in June. By my calculation (excluding holidays) they practice 75 hours for a three- to four-minute act. How many professionals put in that much practice time? Not many.
3) The Show Must Go On
No lights until the four stage lights started working – and that was it until the end. But the show went on. And every parent was patient, supportive and couldn’t applaud loud enough. The show went on – they practiced, got prepared and delivered. They had worked for this event for over 75 hours and nothing was going to stop them. And if it didn’t go as planned, it didn’t matter.
No difference in sales – how often do you really get a second chance at an opportunity?
These were my lessons: Break Through. Practice. Deliver.
Because the show must go on!