This is a blog where I will share my thoughts on Technology, Technical Sales and Technical Demos. I have spent over 30 years working in and with technology, helping people to understand what and why they should buy. All Sales, especially Technical Sales is situational, so there are solid foundations, but no absolutes. I will contradict myself from post to post on what you should do in the sales process. This is by design. This is where my thoughts should make the readers stop and think, Hmmm.
Monday, June 18, 2012
The Old Dutch Open
We have an event in my family started by my uncle Jim 32
years ago called the Old Dutch Open. The Old Dutch is a Frisbee Golf tournament
that is held every spring on my Great Grandparents farm in Southern Ohio. Every
spring around 20 participants gather, along with many additional family and
extended family members, to celebrate life.
Official Sponsor of The ODO
I have learned many life lessons at this event, and as I
often do, I’ll share some of them with you here and explain how they make sense
The first lesson I learned was give everyone a chance to
join. There are a lot of different kinds of people who play, and that makes it
more enjoyable. Some of them are family that I have known all my life. Some,
friends of the family that I’ve know my whole life as well. Some went to college
with my Uncle, I have known them since the start of the tournament 32 years ago
and are now like family. Then there is everyone else, friends of friends, one
time players, school friends of the children of the players, work friends, it
goes on and on.
Why was this important? When I started working with
salespeople, I found them like players at the Old Dutch. Some I were closer to,
some not so much, but I had to play with all of them. Not only play with them,
but compete at a high level. Learning coping skills for different personalities
helps a lot. Everyone in your organization needs to be given the chance to join
in and win.
The second lesson is truly a life lesson. Sometimes you are
leading, sometimes in last. Some days things come easy, some days not. Luck may
be with you, or playing against you. Guess what? You still have to play. Grip
your Frisbee, look where you want to throw it, wind up and let it go, watch it
fly, keeping your eyes on it because it rarely lands exactly where you aimed.
Walk to the Frisbee and do it all over again. Sometimes you don’t have a good
throw, or a good option to make the next throw so you have to make the best
shot you can, because you do have to throw.
Just like life. Make a decision, see the results, make the
next decision based on your options. After the game is over you can look back
at the bad decisions or missed opportunities, while you are playing you have to
think about the next shot. I have seen salespeople struggle with this as well.
You have to do what you can with what you have in the sales process. You can
visualize the perfect sales process, but you have to sell in the one you have.
The third lesson I’ll share today is have fun, it is a game.
This doesn’t mean don’t try, or don’t care, it means if trying and caring make
you forget you are playing you need to reverse the order. I have been playing
when I was near the top of the leader board and all of the sudden I get ultra-serious.
The first thing that tends to happen when I do this is my game goes to hell. My
shots get erratic. I then get even more serious and frustrated. I also stop
having fun. If the game isn’t fun why are you playing?
Same with work. If it isn’t fun, why not? Why do it? Money
is always the answer, but few of us have a position that pays so well we can’t
get close to it doing something we like to do. Life should equal fun, if not,
look at your life.
So I’ll be throwing a Frisbee over the hills of Southern
Ohio this week, having fun, with my extended family, hoping everyone else in
the world gets to experience happiness like this.