One of the old masters of selling who was willing to school me with his lessons was Pete Scatton, one of the original “Tin Men.” Pete thought it was important to leave early for sales appointments, so he could have time to brood.

“Leave yourself plenty of time to pull over, park the car and turn off the radio. Take a minute to think about all of the places you would rather be and all the things you could be doing instead of going on this sales call,” Pete would say.

Pete swore these couple of minutes thinking about the things he would rather be doing reinforced his motivation to make each sales call count and become a one-call close.

Try it for yourself. Pull over before you pull into your next appointment’s driveway. Turn off the car, the radio and the cell phone. Before you walk up to your next client’s doorstep take time to think about all of the other places you could be and how you are taking this time, now, for one purpose–to make the sale.

Remember, you could be doing something else. Something you love to do. You could be enjoying a fine meal. You could be spending quality time with your children. You could be relaxing at the beach, sipping on an ice cold beer or hitting a golf ball. But you are not.

Instead of doing anything else you might enjoy, you are doing the thing that could provide you with the money that will allow you to do all of those things.

Or, you could be wasting your time, by barging onto a stranger’s front porch frazzled and unprepared to make a good first impression. That means you will likely never close this sale. You could be throwing away the profit or commission you could have earned, the money that allows you to do the things you enjoy.

In that case, the time you spent out of your busy day, driving to this appointment, distractedly talking with this client will be wasted. The money that was spent to get this lead would be gone and the time you spend driving back home without the sale will be wasted, too.

Maybe it does make sense to leave yourself an extra minute to think about all the things you could be doing instead of going on this appointment. Maybe you will benefit by composing yourself and focusing your energy on the task ahead. Maybe, by focusing you will make the sale. Check back here for my next entry, “Focus While Driving.”

1 Comment

  1. With all due respect Mr. Malanese, while I have never been an in-home salesman, I COULD NEVER APPROACH AN APPOINTMENT IN THAT FRAME OF MIND! Granted I have always been a distribution or an OEM salesman but I could never approach a sales call thinking I would rather be somewhere else and make a succcessful presentation. And I know my customer would sense negative vibes as well.
    Perhaps this is an illustration of the assertion “40% of the salesmen are out of position, 40% are in the wrong profession”.

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