A Lesson in Crazy Confidence
On my Short Attention Span Sales video tip yesterday, I talked about a quote from William James, the most prominent American psychologist of the 19th century. He was asked to name the most important finding to date into the workings of the mind, and his comment spoke to the attitude we need to bring to our jobs:
“People by and large become what they think about themselves.”
It’s really not difficult to be positive about your job … for a while. But what about those times when sales are down and no one is answering your phone calls day in and day out? How can you possibly bring a positive attitude when it feels like body blow after body blow?
To answer that question, I want to quote a story from a book I am reading, "Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect."
Stuart Anderson, a former NFL football player was relating the story from his high school basketball days. He said, “I was a 50 percent shooter from the floor. In the first round of the state playoffs during my senior year, I took my first shot and missed.” In fact, he missed his second shot and his third and his fourth. It would be his worst shooting night of his life. He missed 20-plus shots in a row!
His team teetered on the edge of elimination.
The game came down to the final play and the team huddled. His coach, reasoning that his normally reliable player was beyond repair, came up with a play where someone else would take the final shot.
“Wait a minute, Coach,” Anderson objected. "I want the shot. Give me the ball.” And for some reason, the coach did.
As the shot clock wound down, Anderson ran the play, got the ball just behind the free-throw line, and let the shot go.
Swish. Game over!
He was asked why he was so confident despite the repeated failures and his response was a fantastic lesson for those of us in sales. He said, “I have always been a 50 percent shooter. When I miss my first shot I thought for sure the second one would go in. When it didn’t, it only hardened my resolve that I was overdue. I never lost my confidence. To the contrary, I believed more and more in the inevitability of my success. I just had to keep trying.”
We don’t shoot 50 percent from the floor, but we don’t shoot 0 percent either. Have faith that the next shot—the next call—will be successful despite the fact the last one or 10 have been anything but.
Attitude is everything.
Bill Farquharson is 6’6” tall. No, he did not and does not play basketball. He was a swimmer. Ask him why when you reach out through his website to talk about your sales challenges: BillFarquharson.com
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.