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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Do You See the Awesome Outhouse? A Lesson in Perspectives


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This past summer, my family was taking a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, NC ,and we came upon a restroom near an area called Graveyard Fields. Perfect. A few of us needed to use the restroom. From the outside the facility looked quite impressive (considering we were out in the middle of nowhere). My wife went first. When she came out, she warned me that what was waiting inside didn’t quite match the attractive outside appearance.

I took my turn and returned to the car. When my wife asked my opinion of what I found on the inside, here’s how I responded:

“Well, that was either one of the worst public restrooms I have ever been in or one of the most attractive looking outhouses I have had the pleasure to use.”

Yep, you got it. There was just a big a hole in the ground, wrapped with an attractive exterior. Maybe it has something to do with being on the mountains, but coming from Florida it is not what were were expecting.

Talk about not judging a book by its cover! In all aspects of life, we can come to a quick conclusion based on a very simple observation--or we can slow down and think about it from other perspectives. This is true, of course, in sales. For example, when a prospect rejects your proposal for one reason or another, do you just give up and move on? Or do you think about the next move you can make to try again to clear that hurdle?

When an important prospect is showing little interest in connecting with you, do you assume they are not interested? Or do you understand that they may simply be very busy and you need to continue to find a way to breakthrough? You decide: Is it an awesome outhouse or the world’s worst restroom?

Is it a hurdle or a roadblock?

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Topics: sales performance