I must admit that although I have come to learn that there are more than a few weird people in the world, I still have trouble coming to grips with The Polar Bear Club. These folks get nearly naked and plunge themselves into the ocean on New Year’s Day for reasons beyond my comprehension.
To me, this exercise is spelled “strange behavior.”
This past year however, I looked at the PBs and thought of something entirely unrelated to splashing around in cold water. I thought of you and the sales profession. Go figure!
The Polar Bear people, as whacked-out as they appear on television, are action people when it comes to freezing their asses off. They are not your normal bathers. They are not your normal people. With a little poetic license they can even be considered as “exceptional” in some way, shape or form.
Even in 85-degree temperatures, most would-be swimmers take hours tracking down the right bathing suit; locating their favorite flip flops; finding a bottle of 35 sun-tanning lotion that isn’t empty or stuck closed; grabbing a dry towel; some reading material; a pair of their favorite shades; their iPod and a cell phone before heading out to take a swim, or to simply hang out by the pool in hopes of catching a few rays.
The average “swimmer” seems to do everything they can think of…but get wet. They act a good game but they just can’t seem to pull the trigger, and jump in the water.
Back to the bears.
These lunatics don a pair of skivvies and take a flying leap into the frigid abyss, regardless of the advice once administered by their dotting mothers. This is what is known as “action” in its purest form.
Once in the water they must realize that they are card-carrying lunatics. They cast all signs of sanity to the wind, and don’t seem to worry about what others think. (Me included) But just the same, they all appear as if they are enjoying the moment. They are doing their thing. They are accomplishing their yearly mission.
Back to sales…and you
Most salespeople spend the majority of their time “getting ready” to sell. They talk a good game and spend the majority of their time getting ready. They also spend too much time thinking about what others will think. Then, they get ready some more.
As Tom Peters once said. “Most people in the oil business do everything they can think of to avoid digging a hole. But that’s where the oil is, in the hole. Sales people make the same judgment error. They manage to do everything, but say, ‘How about it?’”
No. No. No.
I am not endorsing impetuousness. A little thought goes a long way, both in a 40-degree ocean and in the selling arena. I’m simply suggesting that you might find the sales game a bit more exhilarating if you jump (take a leap of faith) into the water and “make the call;” “take the plunge.” What’s the worst thing that could happen? You get a “cold” shoulder?
Today is today my friends. We have never been here before. There are no rules other than the ones related to honesty and fair play. Get up, get out, and make some stranger glad they met you. Then do it again, and again, and again, and again…and again. Don’t shy away from the cold, and don’t worry about what others may think. Just JUMP IN.
Become a card-carrying, certified, action-packed salesperson. Just like those crazy-ass Polar Bears. Do what you have to do.
Trust me. Asking somebody if you can help them is a lot more comfortable than getting half-naked and taking a cold-water dip in the ocean. Let’s go sell something. Let’s jump in the water.
Mike Marchev is recognized for his down-to-earth, street-savvy and honest delivery of useful sales and marketing advice, suggestions, tactics and strategies. For a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled: 11 Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid send Mike an email with the word TRO-11 in the Subject Box. firstname.lastname@example.org
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