On a recent horseback-riding trip across the Andes Mountains in Peru, I stopped at this small stand out in the middle of no-where. The lady was selling homemade jams.
She spoke no English but she made it clear she wanted me to taste all of her offerings. I tasted guava, papaya, mango, passion fruit and pineapple. Yum. My mouth watered thinking of how great each of these jams would be on my morning toast.
But I had limited space in my luggage, so I had to choose which one or two would go home with me.
Many of us struggle with the same dilemma in sales … too many choices.
Should I drive across town to call on a potential customer or would my time be better spent dialing up a recent lead? Or should I get on a plane tomorrow and visit the customer who my product would be perfect for even though he is currently buying from my competitor? Or should I just work later and make sales calls to all of these?
These types of questions used to drive me crazy. But one weekend, things changed.
And it was all because of a simple, but powerful word.
Let me explain.
For years, I was exhausted at the end of each day. I was never 100% sure which sales opportunities I should go after, so I pursued as many as I could.
I fell into bed each night wondering why I didn’t close more sales and, by the end of the week, I was flat our tired.
But on Monday, I would start the same way … make a list of opportunities and then prioritize them A, B or C based on a gut feel. And, by the end of the week, after long days, I would have visited or called A, B and C priorities.
The problem was I thought all the potential customers were important. And, I was afraid that if I didn’t pursue every lead, I might miss the big one.
This is when I figured out what I REALLY needed.