The other day I was at a restaurant talking to a prospective client over lunch. He was telling me about all the challenges his sales organization had been facing. Setting up appointments with new prospects had become a nightmare. Decisions had been taking longer and longer to make.
Competition was everywhere and had been undercutting the company’s proposals. His reps were frustrated and discouraged. “If only they could all be like Paula,” he said, shaking his head in frustration. “I just wish I could clone her.”
I laughed, but my curiosity was piqued. “Tell me more,” I said. Apparently, Paula was having a really good year, despite everything else that was going on. She had cracked a few big accounts that she’d targeted at the beginning of the year.
Despite losing some business to competitors, she’d won more than her share — all without any major discounting. Even the numerous obstacles that seemed to totally derail the other sales reps had set her back only temporarily.
“Let me guess,” I interrupted. “Those setbacks seemed to energize her, right?” My prospect, who was about to take a bite of fettuccine, set down his fork. Looking at me quizzically, he said, almost in a whisper, “How did you know? That’s exactly what happened.”