Can You Make Good Lemonade?
It’s a skill you know.
You’ll never drink canned stuff again once you’ve tasted homemade lemonade…on a hot Sunday…in the Derbyshire sunshine, at the end of a 10 mile walk.
Why has it taken me so long to discover this wonderful elixir?
Anyway, having discovered this my brain is seeing lemonade EVERYWHERE.
Later Sunday night reading Nora Ephron’s book ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman‘ she claims she’s great at making lemonade.
But she wasn’t talking about the nectar that revives the soul after a long walk in the sun, but the ability to take life lemons and make of them something less sour.
Wow, I thought, she needs to be in sales.
You learn to make (truly great!!) lemonade pretty quickly if you’re going to survive in sales.
I’ve been in sales for nearly 30 years…
And…I have to admit, it took me a good 10 years of making lemons into lemonade before I had an almighty epiphany.
It took some time, and I can’t exactly remember the day of the dawning, but dawn it did.
You see, I was so busy, too busy, making lemonade I forgot that not all lemons make good lemonade.
Some lemons are too tough, too stringy, too dry…just too ‘something’, and not in a good way.
So while the lemonade was ok, no awards would be won, it would leave a bitter after taste and it was a lot of hard, unappreciated and tiresome work to create a real thirst-quencher.
And…not everyone liked the lemonade, in fact some people liked the lemons better.
They preferred the sour bitterness of ‘keeping things the same’, ‘staying with the current provider’, ‘it’s too much trouble’, we’ll keep doing it this way because that’s what we’ve always done’
No lemonade drinkers here…just people who hated the taste of lemons but didn’t dislike the taste enough to start making lemonade.
No matter how great the lemonade tasted.
So I got to thinking…
What if some lemons are destined to wither on the vine?
To never go through the loving conversion from hard, bitter sourness to refreshing, mouth watering, soul reviving lushness?
Being a scientist at heart, I had to test the theory.
And because I love mantras…I adopted amantra to bring the experiment to life.
‘The very best lemonade or nothing…’
It helped a lot.
And, it was, and still is, a great mantra for life.
But not such a good mantra for business.
So, my business mantra, and a mantra I pass on to some of my high performing sales teams is…
‘You can’t want success for someone more than they want success for themselves’
Just think about that for one minute.
You can’t want success for someone more than they want success for themselves.
Let me explain, if someone likes sucking lemons, they like sucking lemons.
Your lemonade will always taste bad!
So, as a sales person you have to make lemonade every single day.
It’s your job.
You help the buyer explore their situation.
You bring new ideas to the table…you share your expertise.
Bringing new insights and solutions, your experience, your wisdom and your creativity.
You challenge their thinking.
Help them find budget.
You help them sell your solution internally.
Provide oodles of free consultancy and advice.
Show them a strong ROI illustration on your solution.
You pour your heart and soul into making great, tasty, life affirming lemonade to replace their lemons…
Sure, it’s your job.
It’s also your job to invoice.
To bring in the money.
And to cover your numbers and show a great return on your efforts for your business.
To get the rewards you want, need and deserve.
To feed your soul so you want to jump out of bed and do the very same the next day.
Yet your prospect doesn’t like your lemonade, he wants slightly different flavours.
Wants to sample other lemonade…cheaper lemonade, inferior lemonade.
So, today, I want to offer you a challenge…something to think about next time you get a less than joyous reaction when you present your lemonade…
Do you want your clients success more than they do?
Because you should.
To a point.
After that, you need to make a decision.
Just this week I read an article on the characteristics of high performers, and the author said persistence was a game changer.
I think knowing when to push and knowing when to quit is a game changer.
Knowing when you’ve given everything the prospect can reasonably expect.
The logical pitch, the emotional pitch, the financial pitch, the CSR pitch, the legal pitch, the ‘doing the right thing’ pitch, the ‘career enhancing’ pitch.
Once you’ve done them all.
You’ve got to ask yourself…do the lemons around here come with a side serving of sugar?
What’s making the current situation so palatable that your prospect is happy to suck it up?
Because there will be something…
Either way, the choice is for you to make.
It’s the difference between dragging a very heavy and reluctant prospect up a very steep hill in searing heat because you know he’ll like the view from the top, or actually acknowledging that his eye sight is not so good, he’s nowhere near athletic enough to make the climb and he’s prone to blisters anyway.
Invest your time if you will, but know when to quit.
Fill your pipeline with lemon-suckers, if you will, but know when to say goodbye.
Find the lemonade connoisseurs.
Have some fun, be in super company, experience the joy that comes from a good crop.
Let the lemons wither…or get picked by your competitors.
Come, join us, let’s show you how to make great lemonade.
Just click the link here