Be Like Messi And Meryl

How can you tell when a salesguy is really motoring? Going the right way?

A chat I had recently with someone about their 15-strong enterprise team caught us discussing how much practice a salesperson puts in.

The problem many reps have is the perception they give that they think they can wing it. Wing everything, every time, in fact.

They’ve had a great career so far. Earned pots of dough. Success just happens, right?

Well, no.

How much behind the scenes ‘lprep and test’l do salespeople really go through?

How often are you rehearsing your corporate story? Your new product pitch? An upcoming Board presentation? Objection handling with a techie on the way to a call?

Even the most gifted of performers practice.

From sport, the outrageous achievement of Lionel Messi to already be, at just 24, Barca’s all-time leading scorer (despite the fact he plays mainly in what is basically Scottish football…!) is founded in no small part on his dedicated training regime. No shirking on the shuttle runs for him, by all accounts. No skiving off early to hit the clubs off Las Ramblas.

Take acting. The top Oscar nods go to Meryl Streep. Does she just rock up a few minutes beforehand and instantly become Maggie Thatcher? Not a chance. Hours spent perfecting, honing, tuning.

So why is it so many reps think they can get by with no practice?

It is a mystery. Hope you’re not burdened by the same malaise.

The remedy is simple. Pull out a pen and scribble the pitch on that piece of scrap paper. Deliver your call to arms into that dictation app on your phone. Get your non-sales colleagues to role play with you. Walk into an empty meeting room and regale out loud. Write a few alternatives to a section of a recent Prop. Take a common slide and re-fashion it. Your options are endless. And pay huge dividends.

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