Focus Counts

This was the big meeting, the one we had waited for. We were ready for anything, until we came face to face with the man himself.

He seemed bigger than his physical stature. But when Ross Perot entered the room, and there was no doubt that who in charge. But it was more than that. It was clear that we were there for him, not the reverse. Ross took command immediately and came right to the point.

ross_perotHis opening question was, “So, what can you do for me that I can’t already do?” holding true to his legendary reputation for directness.

There were no polite social niceties or mindless chitchat. He was all business. The ball was now in our court to do something to prove our value or the meeting was over. Fast!

Luckily, the head of our sales team was a fast thinker and came up with the winning comeback, saying, “Ross, I’m going to make you a very rich man!”

After an uncomfortable silence, Ross laughed out loud.

The ice was broken. “Okay,” he said with a smile. “Lets see what you’ve got.” 

We were just audacious enough to get his attention, and he was ready to listen, at least for now.

He was one of the most successful salesmen in history for a reason and we all learned an important lesson that morning.

Focus counts.

He never let his attention be distracted by anything that wasn’t going to forward his purpose. Clearly, focus was the key to his success.

Like all professional buyers, they are not influenced by emotional hot buttons that sway most consumers. His attention was under his control and focused on the objective he was after.

Here’s what he wanted to know:

“What have you got to offer that I don’t already have?”

“Why should I do business with you over anyone else?”

“Who else have you worked with that can vouch for you?”

“How much do you charge?”

“How do I know you can do what you say?”

“When can you start?”

With Mr. Perot there was no middle ground. Either we had what it took or we didn’t. He was both a professional salesman and a professional buyer and could see through any fluff and expose any weaknesses instantly. But, luckily, he could also recognize and acknowledge strength and competence in others when he saw it.

In this situation, we were prepared to step up to the plate and take our best swing, and do it with confidence. We answered his questions and held his attention because we were clear, concise, and focused.

In the end, we signed a “starter deal,” which we were satisfied with. We had gotten over the first hurdle. We were doing business with the best and we had pulled it off as intended.

You can do the same.

Proper preparation, planning and foresight, along with a friendly, business-like approach will get you to into the game.

Combine all that with practiced expertise and confidence and you’ll win, consistently.

daniel w. jacobs

(c) 2011-2030, all rights reserved


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