Working with companies, owners and executives who are in distress forces me to be creative in the ways to get them to take action. Sometimes it’s easy – layout the plan, create the steps for the turnaround and execute. Sometimes it’s not so easy – as this true story goes:
My client, a solo entrepreneur, is in the business of helping companies save money thru his relationships with key suppliers. He makes money only when they save money (shared savings model).
Business has been slow because his sales funnel is at or near empty. He gets his leads thru referrals, networking and cold calling. Referrals are slow to come, his networking has not been fruitful (he’s in the wrong groups) and he HATES to cold call. He thinks cold calling is akin to the door to door salesman (the traveling medicine show of the west) and he would rather not make the call than be known as a salesman (Hmmmmm… think hurdle!)
I call to follow up on our last coaching session to find out how he’s doing. He says fine but he has “hired” someone to make the calls, has not made a call in the last 10 days and has near nothing in the sales funnel. As nice as I could I told him this (as close to verbatim as possible)”get your head out of you’re a**, do you think your s*** doesn’t stink? Stop assuming the prospect on the other side thinks you’re a salesman, get an appointment!”
After a brief pause he says, “I have the visual, I got it.” I let it go, told him to make 20 cold calls and report back to me via email. He reported the next day, 20 cold calls, 2 appointments. I wrote back, “How does that make you feel? Pretty good? Congrats.”
He wrote back, “I can’t hear you, it’s dark in here. Thanks.”
He finally got it! Getting your head out to see the light can begin to show results. We’ll see if he now follows through.
Do you have your head somewhere where you can’t see the obvious?