A few months ago (July), a good friend of mine shared with me that he had one of the biggest deals ever done by his company "on the tee". It was a monster, that would not only "make his year" but catapult him into "company sales history". It would take a lot of work, but in the end, be well worth it and provide the best commission year of his career. I was excited for him but worried that he might be "seduced" by the big deal and lulled into complacency. I asked how the rest of his territory was looking and he suggested "with this one in the bag I don't need anything else!" I bit my tongue and rather than risk our friendship kept my mouth shut.
Unfortunately, I've heard this story too many times and it almost always results in disappointment. First, our ego gets in the way and we are "seduced" by the notoriety we will receive when we land "the big one". Not to mention the ego strokes we get at the water cooler while bragging about the "mother of all deals". Second, it is human nature to think, with this big one on the line, we really won't have to worry about the little ones and it lulls us into a false sense of security and complacency. "I'm a big hitter now, why would I want to worry about all that little stuff? Besides, it's just as easy to close a big one rather than 10 little ones and takes less time.
So, what happens is we focus all of our attention on getting the big one to the exclusion of the little ones. In the end, what ever results occur, we're disappointed. Think about it... what are the possible outcomes?
1. You get the deal, make your year and after the celebration realize that your pipeline for the
next year is empty!
2. You don't get the deal (ouch!), and not only are you in trouble for this year, but that pipeline
for next year is still empty. Even if the deal comes in Q-1, you're in trouble.
3. The deal gets delayed, you look bad for the year, your first quarter stinks, you get fired and
your replacement comes in and gets paid when the big deal closes (talk about adding insult to
injury)! But, they buy you dinner and say thanks!
So, what do we learn? Selling is a numbers game that demands consistency and discipline... you have to be active and make calls. As much as you might be "seduced" into thinking you have found an easy way... sorry, there is no easy way. As soon as you think "you've beaten the bank" or "fixed the game" think again, there are no short cuts or replacements for consistent activity. To be seduced by the big deal and thinking that you have found your way out of "the numbers game" is a mirage. Simply put, sales success is tied to activity and thinking otherwise is suicide!
I just spoke with my friend and asked how the "big deal" was going. All I needed to hear was "well it's kind of a long story..." and I already knew what he was about to tell me. Is the story about to be re-written by you?
Action Step: Create an activity plan for yourself with a daily call goal. Don't let a day go by that does not include activity designed to make sales. If you find yourself with to many opportunities, we can handle that! We'll teach you to close early and relish in abundance! But don't get behind the eight ball and think you can stop calling just because you've been "seduced by the big one!"