I want to tell you how, in a Kentucky hotel bathroom in 1982 , I made a symbolic change that completely changed my luck.
Yes, there is a back story here. Halfway through a 5-week sales trip, I was stuck in a very big way. After getting off to a great start in Illinois, I bottomed out in Kentucky. I couldn’t sell a damn thing. Everything that had worked for me in the Mid West was hurting me in the South. I couldn’t close a door let alone a sale.
My boss had warned me that people where I was headed were conservative compared to folks in California. He urged me to adjust my look and tempo before I left. “Folks won’t trust a slick sounding guy from L.A. with a beard . Shave that thing!”, he said.
I didn’t listen. “Hey, I gotta be me. I got this, don’t worry” I said.
I proved him wrong for two straight weeks in the Mid West. Overcoming obstacles, setting records and crushing my closings. My numbers were great and I was on fire.
Then for two days I bombed. No problem, it happens. I was adjusting, finding my way. But after a third soul-crushing day in Kentucky I was lost. Swagger gone, I was ready to listen. In our nightly call I relayed my numbers to the boss and they stunk. He started in with the ‘I told you so’ speech, and though I was pissed, I let his words sink in.
Thursday got a little better, Friday even more, and by Saturday I was almost back to my usual high-percentage closing ratio.
I went on to North Carolina and Pennsylvania in the last two weeks and finished strong. REAL strong. Big numbers for the company and big dollars for me.
Did I change my presentation? Did I rearrange my feature and benefit statements? Did I drop my price? No. None of these things. Continue reading How Symbolic Change Can Help You When You’re Stuck