Joel Jumps on a Prospect Early in the Day


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Sales Autopsy
by Dan Seidman


As an ISES member (International Special Events Society), our company provides event planning services for national sales conferences and yearly corporate celebrations.

I had an office at home in Denver, CO and this meant I was always working. I would call east coast prospects and clients before I went to work. I would do paperwork after I got home.

So I was a hermit, a recluse - none of my friends had seen me in six months.

One evening I was assaulted by phone calls from everyone I knew. What was wrong with me? Had I given up on bars and all the good stuff that came inside them - music, beer, women?

So with the threat of total abandonment by my buddies, I took a cab to the club.

I made up for six months of alcohol abstinence in one night.

It's 3 a.m., bleary-eyed and blitzed, I stagger into my home. Having programmed myself to do so - I wander right into my office.

I grab my phone and call my biggest prospect - a company that spent over a quarter million dollars on their yearly sales conference.

Sputtering and slobbering into the mouthpiece, I pitched him.

"Oh, please, you've got to buy from me. You're the biggest company I've ever called on. I can do a great job, I swear. Besides, my commission on this project would be beyond belief. Please use me for your event planning. We're the best. You've got to give me a chance."

I passed out on my desk. The screeching dial tone from the disconnected phone didn't even wake me up.

There was only one phone call the next day. I missed it as I didn't get to the office.

It was the guy I had called. "Uh, Joel, I believe it was you that called my office at three in the morning. Please don't ever call me or our company again."

POSTMORTEM: So a prospect passes out of Joel's life as quickly as Joel passes out of consciousness. You have to figure that guy saved Joel's voicemail and shared it with everyone; "listen to this sales idiot." Perhaps that voicemail message is even floating around the Internet somewhere. You also have to figure that Joel wasn't going to share his experience with anyone. He didn't, that is, until he broke down sobbing out this story during the "confession session" part of one of my speaking programs. Okay, so he didn't cry when confessing, but he did learn this lesson - rest is a weapon. You Robert Ludlum fans will recognize that maxim from his best-selling novels that sprung from The Bourne Identity. You get stronger and better at what you do when you regularly back out of your business life to rest and recover. You can attack your market with precision and power; only if, and when, you have the energy to do so. Tou have to back off of business regularly and get rest and recovery. Managing energy could be more critical to success than managing time. You need those breaks from business. You also need to show some wisdom in how often and how well you mentally and phsyically leave your work behind. For some great details on this concept, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Jim Loehr's book on this topic, The Power of Full Engagement.


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