Several years ago, I made my first trip to watch the Daytona 500 NASCAR race in Daytona,Florida, with a group of friends. It was a great trip. The best advice I received on that trip was to always “Walk with a purpose”. Of course, that meant, if you acted like you were supposed to be in a particular area, you would draw less attention to yourself and just might get to see some parts of the race experience most fans won’t get to see. [Note: We had garage/pit passes, but they were only good before and after the race…unless you didn’t draw attention to yourself during the race…..]. By the end of the weekend it had served us well, and we ended up with more of a VIP experience than our passes would typically allow. (Shhh – don’t tell anyone!)
In the time since that trip, “Walk with a purpose” has turned into “carry yourself with confidence”. You would probably agree that the times you have held your head a little higher, addressed an audience with prepared remarks, and been more decisive you have likely enjoyed more of the success that you anticipated. Along this same vein, I have long since committed myself to seeking out the wisdom of other successful people to constantly hone my own skills. I love to read. Each week I choose to spend time reading of books and blogs, engaging in online discussions, and listening to interviews and audio learning programs during my (otherwise unproductive) travel time.
This week, I was reading a blog article by sales expert Jeffrey Gitomer which I shared with my sales team. The theme of the lesson was one of being prepared, setting expectations for what you wanted to happen on a customer call and, in a sense, “walking with purpose”- all wrapped up in a story suggesting that cookies can be a great door opener on a sales call.
Later that same day, one of my own sales team members walked into my office carrying a box of cookies. When I asked where they came from, he told me they were delivered personally by the sales manager of a nearby hotel where we often refer our customers to stay when they come to town. I read the attached note inviting the salesman and I to join the hotel’s sales manager for lunch in the near future. Random salespeople “drop off material” at our office all the time, but this time was different.
Another member of the team laughed a little to himself, upon seeing this exchange, and said, “Hmmm. I guess the cookie thing really does work!”
The cookies lasted about 5 minutes. But, how long to you think that impression will last? My guess is that my sales team will read the next article I forward their way with a little less skepticism.