Robert Terson spent 40 years selling fearlessly and relentlessly. He didn’t start out this way. In fact, his early sales career was spent selling in a fearful and undisciplined manner.
When most of us get down to the heart of the matter, we fear the sales process because we doubt there is, indeed, any process at all. To most of us, selling resembles organized chaos.
Which is why Bob Tersons’ “The Mound Road Story” from Chapter 1 of his book, Selling Fearlessly, A Master Salesman’s Secrets for the One-Call-Close-Salesperson is such a classic.
In this day of Sales 2.0, the complex sale, researching, facilitating, identifying trigger events, and presenting our technical capabilities, we tend to forget that selling is still a very personal experience. Machines don’t sell at each other; people sell to each other. And no matter how smart you think you are or how refined your sales methodology, there’s still a person or two involved in acquiring a customer.
The Mound Road Story, the one that defined Robert Terson, takes us directly into an amazing sales environment, where you only have one opportunity to close the sale. This environment still exists today for many products and services. It’s an art form.
And while you, the reader, might feel Bob’s story certainly doesn’t describe your own situation, guess again.
- How many of us have relentlessly pursued leads to nowhere, because they represented fantasy rather than the reality of the sales process?
- How many of us give up on solid leads, the ones we should be pursuing with aggressive intelligence, but cannot stand the thought and fear of rejection or the realization that it may take up to 10 points of contact in order to reach these elusive targets?
- And how many of us have the patience, in spite of that voice in our heads telling us to give up and go home, to wait it out, with strategic patience? I, for one, know that one of the largest contracts I landed came from over 18 months of strategic patience (and multiple personnel changes at the corporation which was the object of my sales desire).
Not all solutions work, not all sales leads result in a sale and nothing is handed to any of us on a silver platter. The Mound Road Story is a compelling lesson in human nature and how self-belief still remains the fulcrum leveraging our career path.
As Robert Terson puts it:
“If you haven’t experienced it already, somewhere along the way you’ll have your own extraordinary story to tell, and won’t that be something? Until you do, please, borrow the “jug” [his Mound Road Story] and take a “swig” on me whenever you need one; and remember—it’s overcoming those “insurmountable” hurdles which make a salesperson strong and sets the tone for his/her entire career.”