“I just want to get it right.”
“Is that right?”
“I’m afraid I won’t get it right.”
These are all things I’ve either been saying to myself or hearing people say lately.
My question is: Where is the Book of Right? Is there actually a book? Is there actually a right? AND, why is it such a big fucking deal if I get it wrong? Will I die? Will the earth open up and swallow me whole? It certainly has seemed that way most of my life.
If I really look, I don’t think there really IS a RIGHT. In my 61 years on earth, I haven’t found ONE right way. Different people have different ways and different opinions.
So why do I torture myself? It doesn’t make sense.
This week, after 13 years in sales, I had to do a skills assessment with my boss and HIS BOSS. I was nervous. I was tempted to tell them I was sick so I wouldn’t have to do it.
I asked myself why I was in such a panic. Guess why?
I was thinking I had to GET IT RIGHT. I printed out all of our scripts, handling objections, guidelines, and other documents and had them next to me during our zoom call. I felt like I was cramming for an exam.
“Let’s talk about recruiting,” my boss said first.
SHIT. I didn’t have a paper for recruiting. “HELP” my brain screamed. There was no right way readily accessible for me to read.
Here’s the thing. I’m not new. I’ve been selling AFLAC for 13 years. I know how to do this. I took a breath.
I play acted recruiting my boss’s boss’s (Michael), just being myself.
They loved most of it. There was one place where I got tripped up. But it was fine. I can learn. I can grow. It’s ok. I didn’t die.
The prospecting part went fine.
Then came the employer presentation. I literally read the script (getting it right) while I went through the power point slides. After about 5 slides, Michael started waving his hands.
“Stop, Stop, I can’t take it – this is torture. This doesn’t work. Please stop.”
“I was just trying to do it the way we are supposed to do it for new people,” I said.
“Well, it doesn’t work. Please just be yourself.”
I smiled to myself. I did the part they selected being myself and they loved it.
On the last part I was fine until the end when I didn’t know how to close. But it was ok. It’s another place where I can learn and grow into a better salesperson.
I learned a couple of really great lessons from this experience:
- being myself is WAY better than trying to get it right
- it’s ok to get coaching and improve
- once I let go of trying to get it right, I can relax, use my experience, and listen to people
- I can take care of people in the moment instead of having a fixed rigid agenda which sucks for both of us
- I can be in THEIR world, instead of locked in my head
- It’s way more fun
- AND, I don’t suck. I was shocked. All my adult life I’ve been saying I am bad at sales. Like it’s been the truth. I’m not going to say that anymore.
In fact, I’m pretty good at listening, taking care of people, and making sure they get exactly what’s “right” for them. How cool is that?
Life is way more fun when I trust the process, stay out of my head, and just listen to people.
I’m glad I learned this lesson. Now I just have to remember it.
Thanks for listening.