By Tony Vidler
This is one of my favourite business quotes.
My reason for pointing this out is because people keep forgetting it. If we turned temporarily from business to the world of sport – where success is often measured primarily by win/loss ratio’s -then I’d say that this is a favourite:
My point in highlighting these is that I continue to see today’s professionals thinking that they will somehow become champions without practice.
an experienced and intelligent adviser who I was working with recently has found that even though he has built a good practice and has a good number of long-term and loyal clients, has been struggling to get new clients for a little while. The way prospects are selecting and working with advisers has changed, and he is increasingly finding his offering being “commoditized”. Potential clients are price-shopping on him, and all too often choosing to go with someone (or somewhere) else.
The problem of course is that there is no clear value proposition being put forward to help them realise that his work is not a simple commoditized product solution. So we spent some time figuring out his point of difference. He was enthusiastic about it and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get out and use it. I told him to practice it. Craft it. Hone it and get sharp and comfortable with it.
A week or so later he had his chance with a new prospect, and things didn’t go so well. When we talked through why that was he said that he had thought about it enormously, and worked through it in his mind, and he was ready – or so he thought. It turns out that when the performance spotlight was turned on he stumbled a bit, tripped up with his messaging, and basically came across as uncertain. That was his description of how it had played out.
You can’t master new skills through visualisation alone. Roger Federer doesn’t train sitting on his bed imagining happy thoughts. No champion ever does. They figure out what is required, and certainly visualise their future success. But then they back it up with the discipline of practice. And more practice. And more practice……they practice until the necessary action becomes an instinctive action, or reaction. It becomes something which does not require conscious thought.
Championships are won at practice. Winning in the marketplace requires that you first learn how to win in your own workplace. Don’t underestimate the importance of scripting, roleplaying, rehearsing and practicing.
They are critical to delivering a winning performance.
You may also find this post useful: The 8 Steps Of A Great Sales Script0