Back in mid-December I conducted a sales training workshop for a new client at their conference in Las Vegas. During my visit to Sin City, I had the good fortune of driving a sports car at Exotics Racing.
The track was 1.2 miles (1.9 km) long and it included an 1800 foot (548 m) straightaway and seven different turns ranging in tightness and difficulty. And, you could choose from 13 different exotic cars. I chose a Ferrari F430 F1 and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP550.
The package included group instruction and after the 30 minute classroom instruction finished, I was raring to go.
Let me tell you…it was one heck of an experience! I had never driving an exotic sports car let alone race it on a closed track so going into the experience my biggest concern was being able to get the car up to speed fast enough. After all, I didn’t want to be a wimp out on the track! Fortunately, my worries were unfounded thanks to the instructor who accompanied me.
When I reflected on my experience afterwards I realized that there were some good sales lessons to be learned. Today’s newsletter focuses on three of those lessons.
Here is what driving a Ferrari and a Lamborghini taught me about selling.
The first lesson we learned was where to look.
Most drivers look at the car or road directly in front of their vehicle. However, to successfully navigate a super fast sports car, you need to be looking ahead to the next turn.
Sales people also need to look ahead.
Pipelines can dry up quickly if we’re not prospecting on a regular basis and keeping it full. If you sell a complex product/solution with a long sales cycle, you also need to keep focused on the end result while taking small steps to achieve that goal.
We also need to anticipate potential objections, roadblocks and barriers so we can navigate our way around them.
At one point during the course I asked the instructor a question which immediately caused me to lose focus and slightly overshoot a turn.
I was surprised how easy it was to lose focus and the impact that distraction had on my driving.
Selling required focus too.
We need to be sharp. We need to watch for clues, cues and underlying messages. We need to listen intently to everything our prospects say. And we need to focus on the objective(s) we have established for each sales call.
Regular driving rules suggest that drivers brake gradually as they approach a turn or an intersection. However, one of the first lessons I learned at the track was to brake hard because gradual or light braking is ineffective in slowing down the car in time when you’re approaching a turn at 130 mph (190 km).
This was the toughest lesson to apply because I had to override almost 40 years of driving habits.
This is no different that sales people trying to implement a new sales strategy or technique.
It takes time to override previous habits and lots of practice until the new concept becomes comfortable. Unfortunately, many sales people don’t practice enough or work at implementing a new technique long enough and they end reverting to their old, ineffective habits.
If you’re ever in Las Vegas and looking for something exciting to do, I highly recommend Exotics Racing. Driving a Lamborghini and a Ferrari was exciting and I will definitely do it again if given the chance.