20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Note from Bill:
I don’t usually do this—in fact, I can’t remember ever having done this before—but the response I received from a recent video sales tip (the one released on March 11, 2013) was exceptionally strong. That is, I was shocked at the number of e-mails I received from people after they watched it. Because many of you read my blog but don’t necessarily receive the free tips (or the Short Attention Span Webinars, for that matter), I thought I would print the text of that tip so that you could see what all the hubbub was about. Once you are done reading, answer this question in the Comments section: What would you do with your 20 seconds of insane courage?

Here is the text of the March 11 tip:

Good morning!

I love movies. I quote movies nonstop, especially the classics: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Caddy Shack,” “Animal House,” and so on.

The other night I watched, “We Bought a Zoo.” It’s a cute family film starring Matt Damon. For the record, I give it a seven out of 10. But there is one line in that movie that I will score a 10 if the scale is measuring great sales quotes. Here’s the line:

“Twenty seconds of insane courage.”

What a great line. In the movie, it’s used twice as men or boys summon the courage to speak to a girl. In sales, I see other applications:

  • Asking for an order— Believe it or not, the number one reason why we don’t get an order is that we don’t ask for it. You could use 20 seconds of insane courage to ask a customer for the order and then stop talking.
  • Standing on your price—The next time a customer asks, “Is that your best price?”, use 20 seconds of insane courage to reply, “Yes,” That’s all. Just “Yes.”
  • Asking for an appointment—For new salespeople, even requesting 20 minutes to meet with the customer can require 20 seconds of insane courage.
  • Making a presentation—while the sales call itself is sure to last longer, use 20 seconds of insane courage to get it started.

I once had a major decision to make in my life and I mentioned to a friend that it seemed like I was about to jump off a cliff. She said to me, “I think you’ll find that if you jump you will learn that it wasn’t a cliff you are on but rather a ledge. You might land with a ‘thud’ but you will get up, dust yourself off, and realize it wasn’t as bad as you made it out to be in your head.”

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Tini_bop

    I was one of those emails! Seriously – just the words I needed that day!

  • middlefork

    "What would you do with your 20 seconds of insane courage?"

    Go ahead and stand up in a room filled with people (say a networking or chamber of commerce group) and introduce myself and product / service … What better way to cut down on the time spent in making initial introduction calls?

  • Maggie Young

    I like this new twist on the idea of "just ask."

  • Paul Gardner

    • • I’m up to about 8 or 9 seconds on a pretty regular basis. Long ways to go!

    Thanks Bill!