Never Miss

A long-term client recently said to me, “Robin, you never miss.” Quite the compliment.

Of course, that’s not entirely true about everything I do, but I’m certainly not casual about my work. If given the opportunity to speak to a group of potential clients, I can assure you I’ve never missed. I prepare thoroughly. I make sure to control the room and environment as much I humanly can, ensuring I have the right amount of time, the right intro, the right A/V setup. I make sure key parts of the presentation are scripted and rehearsed, often WRITING OUT the ENTIRE presentation with timed slides. I put thought into selecting an offer that is exactly right for that audience. I think through stories I want to tell that will be relevant to the audience and the venue (like telling a Vegas money story when in Vegas). I make sure I’m dressed in a “uniform” that positions me properly and I arrive the day before (if traveling) to ensure I get in with plenty of time to mentally prepare, get a good night’s sleep and be ready to roll when the time comes.

I know most people who have such an opportunity completely waste it. Many of the vendors are guilty as hell of this. Even after paying a CONSIDERABLE amount of money for a speaking spot at an event, they’ll completely waste the opportunity by sending someone who is not trained in speaking from stage – much less selling from stage. They send the guy or the gal who drew the last straw, often at the last minute, begrudging and unenthusiastic about the opportunity. One of the vendors at our show actually sent a crew of people to speak and staff their booth who didn’t even know what an MSP was or what my event was about! They put zero thought into the presentation, slapping together a 52-page slide deck the night before that is merely an electronic brochure they flip through onstage while droning on, boring the ever-loving snot out of the audience and killing ANY chance they have of generating sales.

Some people miss a lot because they never aim. They fire away and then go back and paint a bulls-eye around the bullet hole as if they’d accomplished something. In school, “trying” counts for something. People try to make you feel better by saying things like “Well, at least you tried.” But in real life, it counts for nothing. Only results count. You don’t pay your sales reps big checks to try to close a sale. Only to close the sale. Your clients won’t pay you to try to fix their problems. Only to successfully fix them. A sports team that tries hard to win but fails over and over again sees its coaches fired and players traded. You wouldn’t allow a doctor to try to remove your gallbladder. He better NOT miss. Your family wouldn’t console him by saying, “Well, at least you tried,” after he’d killed you.

I hear a lot of people whining about marketing in the same way. “But I tried so hard!” or “But I put SO much work in!” – as if that somehow entitles them to a reward. A former employee played this game a lot. I’d ask, “Did you talk to Bob about the new program like I asked you to?” His answer: “I called him three times.” In case there’s any confusion, that’s a NO. I didn’t say, “Call Bob three times.” I said, “Get Bob on the phone and talk to him about the program.” People who grew up getting participation awards seem to struggle the most with this.

“Never missing” requires a hard-core focus on results and a commitment to getting the outcome, period. You do or you don’t – there is no “try.”

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