Know your goals and stay focused!
According to a study, successful people invest at least 15 minutes a day just thinking. This isn’t just random daydreaming, though. They’re planning. They think about what they want to do and how they should do it. Then they think about whether they are approaching their goal from the right angle and if there is room for improvement anywhere. Knowing where you want to end up is the key to success. Having a clearly defined goal and then following it to the end is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
Decide where you want to go and then focus on that goal with all your energy. Keep your eyes on your final destination; don’t get distracted by unrelated sights along the way.
Luigi’s eardrums were pounding. The powerful Formula 1 motor roared in a constant deafening hum. Then came the crash. A horrible crash. The Formula 1 Ferrari rocketed headfirst into a concrete wall. Tar and debris flew everywhere. Sounds of shattering glass and crunching steel battered the air. Then there was silence.
He tore his eyes away from the screen to find himself back in the office. The racetrack: nothing but an HD projection on the wall. Aided by the deceivingly small yet incredibly loud speakers placed around the room, it was enough to make you truly feel like you were there. The desk was outfitted like a cockpit, with the steering wheel mounted on top and the gas, break, and clutch underneath. Beside him, Luigi’s trainer towered well over six feet tall. Just before the crash Luigi had heard him screaming, “Turn left! Now! Now!”
“Too late.” The words came from the giant’s mouth in a calm, even tone.
Then he turned back to Luigi. “I’ve told you again and again, you’ve got to look where you want to go, not where the car is already going. You’re always reacting a tenth of a second too late. You keep getting distracted by the obstacles in front of you instead of focusing on where the track is going. I know it’s just a tenth of a second, but it’s the difference between the finish line and the funeral home when you’re racing. Bam! And just like that you’re dead.”
Great story, but what does any of this have to do with sales?
In sales, we deal with different people in different positions with different specialties and interests each and every day. With a pool of customers this big and diverse, how are you going to keep them all happy? Think of yourself as a chef cooking for a group of people with very different palates. For one you’ve got to coat the thing in chilis and hot sauce, but for the other you’ve got to keep it clean and simple, free of glitz and glamour so they can taste that one pure, clean flavor. You want everyone to walk away from that table so pleased with their meal that they’re going to tell everyone all about it. In sales, the only way you’ll do this successfully is if you season your story differently for each person you meet.
This is what you’d call the Outcome Frame, which essentially tells us that we always need to know the who, what, and when of each sale and then use that information to our advantage, meaning we need to cater our story to those factors. If we approach a sale with the wrong story, we aren’t likely to get any further. Likewise, if we come at our customer with nothing but facts (which one could argue is a type of story, though poorly thought out) we will almost always come away empty handed. These dismissals begin to build up until suddenly we find ourselves swimming in a sea of failed sales and missed opportunities.
In reality the art of selling begins well before the sale itself. It starts by knowing our Outcome Frame and then gearing our story towards this set of factors. If these things don’t align, then it’s not going to work. If we put it together, however, and it all fits, then we need to focus on it and not be swayed!
Do you remember Luigi and his little accident?
Unfortunately, at that exact moment Luigi didn’t know where he wanted to go. He wasn’t focused on his goal (the finish line). Instead, he made a turn and got distracted by the concrete wall in front of him. He wasn’t prepared. Look at professional Formular One drivers like Schumacher, Alonso, and Vettel. Every one of these racers knows the entire track by heart before he dare sit behind the wheel on race day. They never see the walls, only the road ahead of them (and the turn after that as well). They know this because they do their homework. When they enter a race they already know where they need to break, where they can accelerate, and where they’ll have the opportunity to pass. And they do this for every single race.
That is the difference between success and failure. Don’t get blindsided by obstacles like Luigi. Be prepared. Think about the goal you want to achieve, define your Outcome Frame, and focus on it. Do this, and you’ll manage to keep your obstacles at a safe distance.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you ever find your destination!?
Want to learn more about Luigi? Get the whole story as a free ebook here!