As I mentioned in my previous article, I’ve had two vacations this summer. One trip was to Canada for fishing and another to Falmouth, Massachusetts to relax and visit our niece and her family. While there we relaxed, had some great meals, walked all over Falmouth, visited with a client, and ate lots of ice cream. All the while, I continued to be amazed by the sales lessons I learned during our daily adventures.
Here are the 6 sales lessons I learned while visiting the Cape.
#1: Small sales can be very rewarding as you watch them grow
Linda’s niece Laura and her husband Sebastian have an infant boy: Javier Miguel Fuentes. He is 9 months old and a delight. We met him when he was a month old and now he is crawling. It was a blast to spend time with him and see how he continues to develop and grow. Yes, there is lots of pressure to make ‘big sales’ but you can choose smaller ones when you believe the growth will be worth all the effort.
#2: Little things do matter and make a difference
While dinning at Anejo Mexican Bistro, not only was the food delicious but the staff was exceptional and paid attention to the little details. It made our visit and experience exceptional and Anejo become our ‘go to’ place to eat during the trip.
#3: If you want the right kind of clients, you have to be where they are
The picture here is of ‘The Knob’. The Knob is a piece of land donated to the Audobon Society by Miss Cornelia Carey in 1973. To get there, you have to go to Woods Hole, find the little out-of-the-way road to Buzzards Bay. You may have to park ½ mile away and walk to get to the Knob. But if you want to see the beautiful sunsets from the Knob, you have to go to the Knob. It won’t come to you.
#4: Take risks
We are creatures of habit. We go to restaurants and order our favorites, our standbys, because we know what we like. I ordered a mahi mahi fish sandwich with aioli sauce and a slice of pineapple on a brioche bun. Those who know me know this isn’t my go to meal. It was great. So great that when we got home that was the first meal I prepared for our Sunday family dinner. We spend a lot of time in training sessions with ‘seasoned’ salespeople who have been doing what they’ve been doing for decades. Some of these people fear taking the risk of trying something new. What is interesting to me is that those that are most successful are those that always take the risk of trying something new.
#5: When on vacation, you can eat ice cream anytime
Linda and I managed to find lots of places to eat soft serve ice cream. Normally it didn’t matter what time of the day it was. When we found ice cream we would stop, consider and buy. In your sales day, there is never a bad time to prospect. Anytime you spend prospecting – just one call between other ‘things you have to do’ is time well spent. Anyone you meet might be someone that needs to hear your story. Don’t convince yourself that prospecting is something you just do on Thursday. That prospect you are looking to connect with on Thursday may not be there.
#6: You really can’t do it alone.
Salespeople have huge egos and believe that ‘they’ are the center of the sales universe. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We have a client in NYC that has an extraordinary sales support structure. Without it much, if not all, of the recurring revenue wouldn’t happen. The ‘expertise’ of their product specialist is exceptional. Yes, the producers hunt and develop relationships and that is no doubt a BIG part of the job. But the rest of the team fulfills the promise and is always there to pick up the pieces when something goes wrong. It took a number of people to pull off the wonderful trips I’ve had this summer. Special thanks to our family: Jeni, Steven, Alex, Ireland and Mike for taking care of things at home and watching over Anthony. Thanks to our people at Anthony Cole Training Group for taking care of business and my clients while we were away. The guys I fished with have been doing this trip for 30 years. Without Gerald, Bob and Barry and their expertise there is no way the trip would have been as extraordinary.
So there you go, vacation sales tips from Canada and Cape Cod. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Send a picture of your summer vacation to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a free, 30-minute pre-call strategy session with me to discuss a sales meeting you have coming up or a post-call debrief for a prospect meeting you already had.