Hitting Singles

Selling is a process, not an event

Large consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and BCG have huge marketing budgets and strong alumni networks that they can tap into to ensure a steady stream of work.

This is not a reality for most people.

If you are a small firm or a solo consultant then you might just need to pick up the phone and make a few calls.

The problem is that for most people selling is stressful, and it’s hard to perform well when your stress levels are sky high.

The good news is that you can combat the stress by understanding where it comes from. A lot of it derives from a misguided belief that you need to be hitting home runs.

Cold calling a potential client and expecting them to thank you and then buy your product is unrealistic (read: wildly optimistic). It is the equivalent of cold calling the girl (or guy) you like and expecting her to accept your proposal of marriage.

Miracles do happen, but they are the exception not the rule.

You can reduce your stress levels by lowering your expectations to a realistic level.

You want to sell the project, but what is the realistic next step?

If you’re on the initial sales call, you might hope for an initial meeting where you can break the ice. If you’re in that meeting, you might hope for a second meeting where you can reach conceptual agreement on a project. And if you get conceptual agreement, then send a proposal.

Keep a lot of balls in play. Keep hitting singles.