I was leaving my son’s football game recently. As I stepped onto the parking lot, I saw my wife stop. Then I saw a man in his car hitting his son.
We were stunned, to say the least…and we froze. I literally froze. I didn’t know what to do.
As I stood 15 feet from the car, a woman ran up to the car and began beating on the window (that probably should have been my reaction). This led to a yelling match – the man still in the car and the woman outside the car.
The whole while I’m standing there. It was surreal.
Then the man saw me looking at him and started yelling at me. Then he got out of his car.
Turns out he is much taller when he’s standing up. 6’5” and 230 lbs tall. I know this because I found his numerous police reports online later that day.
Shortly thereafter, an older gentleman got in between me and this large mountain of a man and the situation was diffused. I looked around and saw my brother, some coaches and other men who had my back.
The police were called, and I don’t know what happened after that.
My brother and I were talking that evening. We both had the same take away. We were completely unprepared for that situation.
I suppose I could make a list of every crazy situation I may chance upon. I could take karate. I could make use of my conceal carry permit. But I’m not going to do that.
What’s your excuse?
You know the situations you will be facing, and yet you do not prepare.
You know you are going to be making prospecting dials – or that you should be. But you wing it instead of researching your prospects and preparing. You don’t roleplay with your coworkers because it is awkward and embarrassing.
You know you will be leaving voicemails, but you just bumble through the message hoping to strike a chord. Or worse, you don’t leave a message at all. “No one returns calls. Why bother?”
You are going to have that next opportunity to present to win the business. But you will go in with a canned presentation that you will give to anyone. No understanding of the objectives of the client. No customized approach.
My favorite quote of all time is:
“Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.”
You need to practice on purpose for the situations you know you will face. And then practice some more. Practice until until you can leave a compelling voicemail with a real reason to call back…and nail it every time. Practice until you know your customized pitch so well that you can improvise according to the need of the minute…and know exactly where to return to in the presentation.
Practice until you can’t get it wrong. You may not succeed every time, but your preparation will put you in the best situation to come through when stakes are the highest.
This is the way you reach your potential. Prepare. Practice. Rinse. Repeat.
So the question is…are you going to do it?