I love movies. I quote movies nonstop, especially the classics: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Caddy Shack, Animal House, and so on.
Have you ever seen, We Bought a Zoo? It’s a cute family film starring Matt Damon. For the record, I give it a seven out of 10. But there is one line in that movie that I will score a 10 if the scale is measuring great sales quotes. Here’s the line:
“Twenty seconds of insane courage”
What a great line. In the movie, it’s used twice as men or boys summon the courage to speak to a girl. In sales, I see other applications:
- Asking for an order— Believe it or not, the number one reason why we don’t get an order is that we don’t ask for it. You could use 20 seconds of insane courage to ask a customer for the order and then stop talking.
- Standing on your price— The next time a customer asks, “Is that your best price?”, use 20 seconds of insane courage to reply, “Yes,” That’s all. Just “Yes.”
- Asking for an appointment— For new salespeople, even requesting 20 minutes to meet with the customer can require 20 seconds of insane courage.
- Making a presentation— while the sales call itself is sure to last longer, use 20 seconds of insane courage to get it started.
I once had a major decision to make in my life and I mentioned to a friend that it seemed like I was about to jump off a cliff. She said to me, “I think you’ll find that if you jump you will learn that it wasn’t a cliff you are on but rather a ledge. You might land with a ‘thud’ but you will get up, dust yourself off, and realize it wasn’t as bad as you made it out to be in your head.”
And so it is with certain nerve racking sales moments. It feels like you are standing on a cliff, looking down. Summoning 20 seconds of insane courage and taking action, I think you, too, will learn that it wasn’t nearly as bad as you made it out to be in your head.
Again, what would you do with your 20 seconds of insane courage?
Bill Farquharson can drive your new business sales momentum. See his training programs at AspireFor.com or call Bill at 781-934-7036. His email address is
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