DeWese--Super Bowls, Super Kudos, Super Vision
If Fortune had a fourth trait for its most-admired companies, I'm sure it would be incomparable integrity. My award for incomparable integrity at this moment goes to Michael E. Couglin of Cornucopia, WI. Michael is a reader of this column, and we have exchanged letters.
Green Bay has kicked a field goal to tie the score. This game is getting interesting.
Michael once wrote: "Sometimes I think there is hope for me as a salesman, but there is a huge amount of inertia for me to overcome before I can go out and call on people. I have enthusiasm about my letterpress operation. But when I tell myself that I'm going on a sales call I freeze up, put it off and choke."
Michael, you are not alone. Thousands of print salespeople "choke" when they've got to make a sales call. Salespeople choke because they have no "vision" for the sales call. To have a vision you must "envision" the call. Mentally you must put yourself in the buyer's office and envision an ideal result. You can't envision the call if you haven't identified the results that you wish.
Try this. The evening before a sales call, handwrite three objectives for the call. They might be: Make a friend and leave with a reason to call on him or her again; tell the buyer six good reasons for trusting you to print his or her work; and ask if there are any jobs planned that fit your shop. Next, write a list of a dozen good reasons to "trust" you. Finally, handwrite an ending to this sentence, "My call tomorrow will be a success if…"
Michael, I will bet you one of my National League Mañana Man autographed baseballs that, if you do what I ask before every sales call, you will never choke again. This, incidentally, will work for the rest of you chokers.