Don’t Brake Uphill

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When I was 13 or 14, my grandfather decided it was time for me to learn to drive. Apparently, he was better able to judge my abilities than the DMV. Anyway, he took me up on his farm, put me in the seat of the 1988 Ford Pickup Truck, and said, “Drive.”

He gave me very little “coaching” that day. Instead he let me learn as I went. I’ll never forget how valuable that experience was. The opportunity to simply learn-by-doing still remains my preferred method of gaining a new skill. It forces me to “own” my mistakes and take greater pleasure in my victories.

There’s a great lesson for sales managers in letting salespeople make their own mistakes, but the real gem came when he offered one of the few bits of advice that came that day.

As I was climbing a hill he caught be tapping the brakes.

Never brake when you’re going uphill.

My grandfather was a remarkably practical man, but I don’t think the double meaning was lost on him.

When you’re going uphill, you’re working harder than usual. Whether you’re working with a difficult customer, challenging a member of your team, dealing with personal issues, or driving a pickup, you’ve got to keep your foot on the gas. You can’t tarry.

Don’t brake the next time you’ve got to power through a tough challenge.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeb Brooks
Jeb Brooks is Executive Vice President of the The Brooks Group, one of the world's Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He is a sought-after commentator on sales and sales management issues, having appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal. Jeb authored the second edition of the book "Perfect Phrases for the Sales Call" and writes for The Brooks Group's popular Sales Blog.

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