Last week I had the opportunity to drive to Lenoir, North Carolina to work with one of our newest Account Executives. Jim Duncan, who joined us just a few weeks ago, has been a longtime friend, and I am excited to have him aboard. As you might expect, we each had a list of things we most wanted to go over. I wanted to talk about some product training. Jim wanted to spend a great deal of time talking about our software. Together, we discussed the power what we do, and how we can help organizations. It was a great day. But one theme kept coming up over and over as the training day went on. We would cover a topic and go back and forth with questions. After I felt confident he understood the material I would say something like, “As you do this more and more, you will get comfortable. It’s about the repetition.” As the day wore on, I must have said that a dozen times. It’s like that in all areas of our life. If we want to get “good” at hitting a baseball, we have to spend lots of minutes in the batting cages. If we want to be “great” with the bat, we have to spend hours and hours. When we are teaching others to hit a ball, we know this. But sometimes when it comes to our professional lives, we lose sight of this. We think that if we are “good at talking to people” we will automatically be good at sales. Um…no. You still have to put in the work. The challenge, I think, with putting in the work as an adult, is we are hesitant to fail in front of others. Let’s face it, if we stumble on a sales call, we (by definition) are doing it in front someone else. In the batting cage, no one might see us whiff the ball. But the rules are the same. If you want to become a “sales champion” you have to put in the reps.
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