When It’s Life Or Death
Imagine for a moment your life is on the line, and you’ve hired some guy to watch your back.
Would you want him to “know” a lot about security, even though he doesn’t have any experience in the field?
Or would you want him to have “drilled” your life-threatening situation and his tactical response 3,000 times or more?
I recently met Scott Biggs at a networking event and was immediately impressed with his confident, direct style.
Scott’s been in some very dangerous environments and has experienced life or death moments with clients. Life has prevailed.
Scott and guys like him at Lethics don’t just know their stuff. They practice it… drill it… until it goes in to Muscle Memory.
What Is Muscle Memory?
The concept is quite simple, as Scott explained it to me, but don’t confuse simple with easy. The discipline is grueling.
When you learn a skill, you have to practice it at least 3,000 times before it becomes so engrained as an auto-response practice that your probablity of doing it any other way in the heat of a chaotic, life-threatening moment is virtually zero.
In high-anxiety moments, fear takes over via your brain’s amygdala and all rational thinking goes out the neurological window. Even mental memory shuts down.
Knowing about that skill isn’t enough to ensure you exercise it. Practicing it a few times is good. But for life-threatening and high-stakes situations, a few times ain’t good enough.
What’s Sales Got To Do With It?
Everything. Are you leaving your sales execution to just knowing it?
As a sales consultant and trainer, I’ve seen more than my share of sales people who come into workshops or coaching sessions and profess to know it all. Sometimes they know a lot.
Many times, however, these same know-it-alls resist role plays and simulations. They claim that it’s silly to sit with mock buyers in mock situations.
Force these salespeople into the simulation, however, or go out and visit clients with them, and they rarely “perform” to the level of their “knowledge.”
In the heat of the moment, they get reactive… and best practices go out the window.
Would you want your airline pilot to have turned down stress situations in the flight simulator?
And that’s why pitch workouts are so effective. While they may be uncomfortable for salespeople to perform, especially in front of peers, two things happen when you regularly run good pitch workouts:
- Imperfections become more apparent and awareness increases.
- Practice makes perfect.
The best salespeople and the high-performance pitch teams go through the motions frequently. Then when they get out in the marketplace, when they sit face-to-face with customers and prospects, they sparkle.
Perhaps if you’re a route sales person making 20 stops a day, you can actually practice during your visits, and that’s not a bad idea provided that you’re trying out those skills that should help you improve.
But if you’re like many business-to-business salespeople, you know your numbers, and customer visits are a lot fewer than 20 per day!
So why squander these calls? The attitude of “We know how to sell” is not the same as, “We’re ready to sell.”
Practicing three-thousand times may be unreasonable, but are your drilling the tough sales situations? Do you do pitch workouts?
Perhaps Muscle Memory is just a fancy term for habit… but who cares?
The true masters of sales, the real rain-makers, don’t just know about customer-focused selling techniques. They do the customer-focused things.
It’s Not About Knowledge
It’s about performance.
If you were in a situation with kidnappers blocking your exit, would you want me to be watching your back? Or would you want a guy like Scott Biggs, who’s practiced and performed every conceivable situation thousands of times?
Don’t leave your sales activities to chance. Develop best practices as habits. Drill, baby, drill.
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For more info on how to improve your sales activities, feel free to contact me at +41 76 43 43 043, or send me and email at jack(dot)vincent(at)focus360.ch