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What do I know?

I was working with a stellar sales team in Canada last week.  The total years of knowledge and experience in the room was awesome!  But… 

Why is it that in business, generally, and the sales profession in particular, the more we know and the more experience we have the more we assume we know?  I mean, what do I know? 

Who knew a camel could be featured by an insurance company in a commercial for a national advertising campaign?  (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWBhP0EQ1lA )  For the record, I didn’t understand the term “hump day” until a just couple of years ago.  See what I mean – what do I know? 

So I’m working with this team of highly experienced business owners and sales professionals last week, practicing discovery skills; using a case study.  In the case study, one of the company’s goals is to increase annual revenue from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years. 

OK – it’s a case study for a selling skills class – but the presumptuous reaction from class participants was amazing.  “No way” was the consensus; “Gary, that’s a hope, not a goal” they insisted.  This company could not possibly grow from $30 Million to $100 Million in 3 years! 

Wow – such enthusiasm!  It reminded me of those that poke fun at the highly educated: 

What has been suspected for quite some time about young men with MBA’s – seldom right, but never in doubt. 

To be fair to our sales brethren from the north, I get the same reaction from highly skilled and knowledgeable sales professionals in my Denver classes, too.  Why do you suppose this happens?  Is it that if we have not accomplished the feat ourselves, it can’t be done?  Here’s how our favorite Unknown Sage looks at it: 

            People can be divided into three groups: 

1. Those who make things happen,

2. Those who watch things happen, and

3. Those who wonder what’s happening.                                 

Which group are you in? 

One of the aspects I enjoy the most about the sales profession is all of the things I get exposed to that I don’t know about.  I am easily awed I guess.  Take Oracle Corporation for instance.  In 1985 Oracle’s annual revenue was $26 Million; it reached $1 Billion in 1991!  Or, take Crocs; 5 years following their 2006 IPO sales exceeded $1 Billion! 

But, what do I know about technology or plastic shoes?  And am I really so smart and so experienced that I can tell which prospect will be the next Oracle or the next Crocs?  Put me in Group #3 above, please: 

            I’m living each day with awe and enthusiasm! 

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary offers us this about “awe”: 

     Synonyms; 

admiration, amazement, astonishment, wonder, wonderment 

Now we’re talking! 

And Winston Churchill offered us this about “enthusiasm”: 

Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 

Successful prospects are willing to face the challenges of moving from failure to failure in their search for success.  And I’m willing to help them.  Of course, we have our own challenges in the sales profession when calling on prospects: 

After all; the difference between cluelessness and greatness to the outside observer is often imperceptible. 

But what do I know about a prospect’s ability to reach their goals?  I’m very content being categorized in Group #3 above.  I simply strive, enthusiastically, to make a living selling to prospects that are in Group #1. 

GAP 

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

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4 Comments


  1. Doug
    Jun 26, 2013

    Nice piece GAP…


    • Gary
      Jun 30, 2013

      Thanks Doug! Always great to hear from you. GAP


  2. Jim Anderson
    Jun 26, 2013

    I am definitely in group number three.


    • Gary
      Jun 30, 2013

      Not true Jim – You’re definitley Group #1 in my book! Thx, GAP

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