Embracing The Fool

The hardest task can be to get an accomplished salesperson to try something they don't currently do or use. They're number one, why try harder? Old dogs, new tricks, pah!

When really, they're good enough, so why make a monkey of 'emselves 'failing' at giving any new fangled idea a go?

I get this a fair bit.

Lately, with those not yet 'coachable' in the ways of even better video sales calling. (You might know I also use another term, away from that one widely taken on in sports; pre-contemplative.)

"... you are a fool when you start something new.
If you are not willing to be a fool, then you'll never start anything new, and you will not develop.
The willingness to be a fool is the precursor to transformation—that is the same as humility.
If you are going to write your destiny, you can do a bad first job. Because you're going to get smarter as you move forward."

Change Curve junkies (like me) will love this. Take too this trio of commentor deepisms;

Every master was once a disaster.
Tenacity delivers us from the folly of the beginner.
If you’re not afraid to look stupid, you can actually learn.

Beyond Jung, didn't Shakespeare show us the fool in the end was the cleverest member of the medieval court? Able to read the room, emotions, temperature of all assembled. Crucially, with the ear of they who wore the Crown?

Being a fool clearly no bad thing in the long run.

I was reminded of times recently when someone's told me how transformative working at and cracking a new video performance technique's been for them.

The latest including a lady who felt uncomfortable at first with, but persevered to success, adopting The Rembrandt Pose on-screen. One tiny tweak. Yet seeing engagement and connection rise, with accompanying outcome metrics improvement.

There's so many other tactics that can fall prey to such fear.

Those first times with a video call you...

Replace an email thread with an 8-minute ad-hoc 1-on-1 link from your phone.
Ask for pre-work.
Send out a crafted Agenda.
Begin with a 'silent storm'.
Don't obsess about perma-staring at the screen.
Draw on a hand-held clipboard.
Make prescribed movements with your hands.
Ask for gestures of others.
Solicit amendments to a pic you're mid-scribble.
Take a vote at the end.

All these ten (and more) can give you the feeling of being, or seen to be, the fool.

I've seen people give up after their first and only try with something afresh. The fool is wise to know you must pick yourself up, realise no-one is negatively judging, and go again. And again.

Evocative of the classic line from a 19th century poem called Perseverance; 'If at first you don't succeed try, try again'. As well as Japanese proverb I first heard of through Olympic gold medal heptathlete, Denise Lewis; fall down seven times, get up eight. And let's remember the tweaks required to 'pounding the rock' and ensuring not falling into the Einstein insanity trap of doing the same (mistake) thing over and over, through the (hopefully less for us) 1,000 attempts to invent the lightbulb that were not 1,000 fails; 'Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.'

Interestingly, a similar vibe affects new product selling. In that your evolving pitch (& process) sees you begin as the fool. And you will also need to counter the prospect fears of being such themselves in the undertaking of something 'new'.

Now you've another framework to handle this head-on, up-front, with purpose.

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