Take the Shot!

No, I am not talking about drinking an Irish Car Bomb at the bar tomorrow night. It’s a reference to a very well-known and way overused quote by Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”

So what does this mean for you? I see it as a call to action—and a manifesto against INACTION.

  • It means: “Get up out of your desk chair and go see someone new.”
  • It means, “Pick up the phone and make 10 cold calls before you do ANYTHING else today.”
  • It means, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting, so if you want something to change, YOU have to change it.”

OK, enough already.

If we look at this quote a little deeper, there is a lot more implied. If you take zero shots, then what will your score be? ZERO.

And if you take 10? Well, maybe you only score 10 percent of the time, but one is better than none, right? And what if you upped the ante to 100? Then your score could be 10 or more. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Because here is the frustrating—but very true—truth about sales. Even when we are at the top of our game, the best of the best, we may only be successful about 10 percent of the time.

Some people may have a close ratio that is higher, and to them I say, “Godspeed!” But for the rest of us, the timing, our offering and the needs and plans of our prospects may really only all fall into place one time out of every 10.

This is why having a robust pipeline that you are constantly replenishing with new suspects is vital to your success—if you are trying to land new clients. I have a new client that I am coaching who he has absolutely no qualms about sitting down and making 80 calls in one afternoon. I really admire this, and give him a lot of credit.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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  • Bill Faquharson

    During last night’s Stanley Cup hockey game, one of the announcers said, "You have to keep moving the puck towards the net if you want to score." It was a "duh" statement and the other announcers teased him a bit, but given that the Bruins peppered the opposing goalie and pounded the Canucks 12-1 over two games, I’d say they were listening.

    He shoots. He scores!

  • Sandra Morris

    This makes some excellent points. Thanks for getting me motivated on a Thursday!