Summer Vacations and Sales Lessons
Written by Tony Cole, Chief Learning Officer & Co-Founder of Anthony Cole Training Group, LLC.
Every year, I go on a 7-day fishing trip to Lake McCrae Ontario, Canada with 3 friends of mine. My vacations have provided me some insights that correlate very well to what it takes to be successful in selling.
5 Sales Lessons from My Canada Fishing Trip:
#1: Anticipate an unexpected turn of events and prepare to respond
Lake McCrea is very remote. There is no cell or phone service. Last year was my first trip there and I was concerned that if something happened or if something happened at home there wouldn’t be a way to get help or leave if I had to. To prepare, I rented a satellite phone.
#2: If you change how you view things, you will see something different
Gerald was pointing out to me the structure of the rocks below the surface of the water. The sun was shining, the water was crystal clear and I could see in detail what I needed to see in order to be more successful at casting in the right areas. I immediately thought of salespeople and their relationships with prospects. I thought “if salespeople would just change how they view selling, they would see better what it would take to convert a prospect into an opportunity and perhaps a client. But many salespeople have a myopic view and look at all prospects the same and thus treat them all the same. Example: If the view is ‘prospects want to save money’ then the salesperson will approach all sales the same way.
#3: You can’t force big sales to happen
I managed to hook 3 monster Northern Pikes. The first was 40 inches long and at least 15 pounds. I was fishing with gear suited for fish that might have been 3 pounds. Not wanting to risk losing the monster fish, I set my drag and took my time. This catch took 50 minutes to boat.
#4: Learn from mistakes and successes
Two days later, I hooked another fish about the same size but learning from the first big catch I managed to bring this one in the boat in 25 minutes. A day later, I caught the granddaddy –a 48” Northern. I managed to get that one in the boat in 20 minutes.
#5: Create more opportunities – make more sales
My fishing partners have been making this trip for over 2 decades. They are really experienced and rarely get their fishing jigs caught in the rocks hidden beneath the water. I, on the other hand, had some trouble in this area and so I spent more time re-tying jigs and lures then they did. Subsequently, they threw more cast and caught more fish.
So there you go, my sales tips from my 10-day vacation in Canada. Be on the lookout for part 2! Send me a picture of your summer vacation 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.