Don’t worry about what others may think!
As I have on almost every previous New Year’s Day, I saw a TV news segment this year that once again caught my attention. There stood a bunch of half-naked people freezing their privates off while most of them successfully dodged another heart attack. Some were older than others. Some a tad more buff. Most of them should have shunned the TV camera.
While I have come to learn that there are a bunch of weird people in the world, I still have trouble coming to grips with those folks who are members of the Polar Bear Club. To me, their behavior is defined in one word—strange. This year, however, I looked at this group of thick-skinned people and thought of something entirely unrelated to splashing around in cold water. I thought of you travel agents and the sales profession in general—as well as what you face in the year ahead.
The Polar Bear Club members, as wacko as they appear on television, are “action” people when it comes to freezing their asses off. They are certainly not your normal swimmers. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe you would find the word “normal” anywhere on their job-seeking résumés.
Even in 85 degree temperatures, most would-be swimmers take hours tracking down the right bathing suit, locating their favorite flip-flops and finding a bottle of 35 SPF sun-tan lotion that isn’t empty or stuck closed. Then they have to spend time 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 simply hang out by the pool to catch some rays. Indeed, the average swimmer seems to do everything but get wet. They talk a good game but they just can’t seem to pull the trigger and jump in the water.
Enter the Polar Bears. These lunatics don a pair of skivvies and take a flying leap into the frigid abyss, regardless of what their mothers once told them. That is truly what is known as “action.”
Once in the water, they must realize that they’re card-carrying lunatics, but they don’t seem to mind. They cast all signs of sanity to the wind and don’t seem to worry about what others (me included) think. Just the same, they all appear as if they really are enjoying the moment. They’re doing their thing. They’re accomplishing their yearly mission.
But let’s get 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 in preparation. They also spend way too much time thinking about what others will think.
“Most people in the oil business do everything they can think of to avoid digging a hole,” Tom Peters once wrote. “But that’s where the oil is…in the hole.” In much the same way, salespeople make the same error in judgment. They manage to do almost everything but actually sell to their customers.
Now, I’m not endorsing impetuousness or going ahead without at least some planning. A little thought goes a long way, both in a 40-degree ocean and in the selling arena. I’m simply suggesting that you just might find the sales game a bit more exhilarating if you jump—or take a leap of faith—in the water and finally “make the call.” What’s the worst thing that could happen? You might get a “cold” shoulder.
This is today my friends. We’ve never been here before. There are no rules other than the ones related to honesty and fair play. You need to get up, get out and make some strangers glad that they met you in 2010 because of the travel products that you sell to them. Then you have to 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 the water…and sell! Become a card-carrying, certified, action-packed salesperson. Just like those crazy-ass Polar Bears, you gotta to do what you gotta do!
Trust me when I remind you that asking somebody if you can help them is a lot more comfortable than getting half-naked and taking a cold-water dip. So let’s jump in that cold market and sell! Geronimo! @