I suppose it was my dad who first introduced me to the concept of muscling when I was still young. He understood how to avoid it. I, on the other hand, was a boy, and I didn’t understand things as he did. Like many salespeople, I had to learn things the hard way.
I must have been about ten years old when I spent some time at work with my dad one afternoon, observing his responsibilities as a doctor. I remember being fascinated by the idea of a giant camera taking X-ray pictures of people’s insides.
X-ray vision was, of course, a necessary skill for every superhero if he was good for anything. And the thought that my father had access to such a skill was thrilling. There was a problem however and it was that he was a radiologist.
He only read the X-rays; he didn’t take them.
“Dad,” I asked with an incredulous look, “why don’t you take the pictures?” Surely, he would want to take advantage of such an extraordinary skill.
“Son,” he replied, “I get paid to read the X-rays.”
It was a significant point to consider. It’s too bad his wisdom didn’t readily sink in back then. If I’d been a little wiser I might have saved myself a lot of frustration and failure in my selling career.
Whether or not he knew it, my dad’s response that day indicated that he was very clear about his responsibilities. As a radiologist my father knew that certain tasks were productive, and others were not—even if they could be viewed as part of the radiology process. In short, he understood his job description. Something many salespeople don’t seem to readily comprehend until it’s too late. Until they are a salesperson, secretary, courier, copier, filer, faxer, computer-repair technician, and social-activities director in one. Until their sales job is no longer a job for one; it’s a job for ten—still being carried out by one very weary person. Have you ever felt overwhelmed with your “responsibilities?” Maybe it’s time to unflex your muscles and use them for what matters most.
You are a salesperson, which is to say you are paid to make sales. There are two tasks that fall into this category: 1) building trust with new prospects, and 2) fostering trust with existing customers. The more time you spend on these two tasks, the more successful you will be.
If you can’t find the time to do things right, when will you find the time to do things over?