When you show up, you open yourself to opportunity.
I was at the 14th Street Apple Store in New York City to charge my phone after a full day of use. I marched up stairs to find a quiet place with an electric outlet and plugged my device in. As I waited patiently, I noticed an employee setting up what seemed to be a training class on a nearby table. He lowered a projection screen, tested his remote, and began with an introduction to hour-long Mac OS X class.
Taken aback, I looked around—who was he talking to? The table at which he stood was surrounded with empty chairs. "Maybe he is just practicing," I thought to myself, but much to my surprise he went on further without hesitation working his way through his script-like material.
In sales we are taught the worst thing that can happen is 'no'. It seems obvious, but most of us have a natural fear of being rejected and rightly so. It's hard not rejection personally, but what we learn is that 'no' is just an opportunity to keep moving forward—it's a definite answer and in a world of consumer uncertainty, it can serve as relief.
However, some cannot get passed this fear, the anticipation too overwhelming and the answer too daunting. It causes paralysis in some, keeping them from making any action. And when there is no action taken, no sales will be made.
At least when you make the call, there is a 50% chance you'll get a 'yes' or 'no'.
My phone had reached an adequate level of battery charge and my welcome was wearing out. I wrapped up my cables, pocketed my phone, and headed for the Apple Store exit. As I was leaving I glanced at the empty training table—much to my surprise it had filled up. There were people sitting, listening, and participating in the introductory class!
As I charge my phone, one by one more people flocked to faux-classroom table, first for a place to sit, then to partially listen, finally taking part in, and engaging with the materials.
I don't know about you, but I've been in similar situations as the Apple Store employee, rather than showing up and working—I opted out with excuses. No one is here / no one will come. No one wants to hear what I have to say. Nothing I say will be of any value...
If only I had the attitude of that Apple Store trainer and just showed up.
If you have questions or comments about sales, opportunity, or showing up, email me firstname.lastname@example.org—I'd love to hear from you!