The slim margin of success

In sports, just as in business, the margin between success and failure can often be a very thin line.

Case in point:  in this most recent Olympics the difference between first and last in the men’s 100 meters sprint came down to just .035 seconds.  Essentially, little more than the blink of an eye.  One more stride. A quicker start out of the blocks.  anything could have substantially changed the outcome of that race.

After nearly 4 years of work for some of these athletes, the hours and hours of practice, weightlifting, dieting, and conditioning, all came down a preciously short total time spent in the actual preliminary events /qualifying races, and the final medal race/event.  For example, the actual time spent by contestants in the men’s shot put, actually in competition, was less than 15 seconds.  For the woman’s all around gymnastics’ event, less than 8 minutes (Go Gabby!).  Certainly some events do have a longer actual participation time such as the men’s cycling road race which took just under seven hours.  But overall, most of the sports in which gold medals have been handed out this week are usually culminated in less than 10 minutes.  And this after years of preparation and work.

Many of these athletes also participate at a great personal cost to themselves and their families.  The afore-mentioned Gabby Douglas’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, has apparently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy recently, to reorganize the family’s finances and pay down debt accrued during her many years of training.  Swimming star Brian Locke’s parents are also facing foreclosure issues on their home.

The takeaway from these athletes to the Yellow Pages industry, is that in sales, it appears that the margin between an outstanding, highly paid, top performing sales reps and those  who are just average at best seems to come down to several simple things which may only take an investment of minutes each day:  preparation , and planning their sales day.  And then, they need to go through doors.  Many doors, to find those sales and be successful.

The thing each of us needs to consider is what the impact would be if each of us made one more call, opened one more door, shared the Yellow Pages value story with one more small business owner each and every day.  Imagine how many additional sales that would yield over the course of a month, a year, or if you’re truly Olympic, over four years.  The results would be staggering.

Today make just one more call.  One.

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One response to “The slim margin of success

  1. You’re right, Ken, preparation and planning are critical, especially in light of the growing number of sales reps calling on small business owners. According industry analysts, an average of 35 to 40 media and marketing reps call on small business owners and managers every month. Unless reps conduct pre-call research and create presentations that include industry-specific data, content, and recommendations, they will fail to attract advertisers’ attention and fail to close deals.

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