Since I am ostensibly in charge of Southwestern‘s Sales School, I’m always eager to share (read “impose”) training wisdom on my kids. Katie, our youngest (12), is a good athlete. She plays a number of sports, but loves travel softball. It’s no soft, coach-pitch league–the competition is pretty serious–year round tourneys, a World Series and 50+ mph pitchers.
Every week without fail, we take her to the batting cage to practice hitting. You can imagine how excited she is! “Can we just skip this week? Do we have to?” (And just for the record, we aren’t the stereotypical, psycho I’m-living-my-life-through-my-kids parents.)
“You play like you practice!” we say. ”If you want to be good at something, you have to do extra work!” “If you train hard, rewards will follow!”–all wise parental maxims.
So it is with sales improvement and personal growth. We may see no progress made by a long series of consistent, dogged efforts. You may study your sales presentation, gain product knowledge, increase your calls, improve your demonstrations…all without apparent progress. And then it happens. All of a sudden you turn a corner, a truth is revealed, a bad habit loses its grip.
But all this doesn’t happen suddenly. The gain was made, one close at a time, one call at a time, one swing at a time, by all the seemingly ineffective, probably forgotten efforts before your breakthrough.
Longfellow, the poet, once wrote:
Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate,
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Have faith in the process of growth. Don’t expect a medal for each lap run.
What’s your story? Share a story or comment for everyone, please. (Oh, and good news! Katie batted between .500 and .700 with two triples in the last couple tournaments. Persistent effort pays off.)