Are You Preparation Lazy?

Robert Terson

In Part I of Selling Fearlessly I have a chapter entitled Success is a By-Product of Preparation and Execution. The quotation that I included for that chapter is from the late college football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant: “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”

So, do you have the will to prepare to win? Or are you preparation lazy? Which is it? Let me suggest you do some deep soul searching about this, because if you’re not willing to fully prepare, you’re never going to be a top-tier salesperson, let alone a master salesperson.

In the same chapter I said, “You must prepare to the utmost degree just like the athlete. You must know your presentation like your ABCs. You must know every objection and have a rebuttal for each one, a rebuttal you’ll confidently execute to neutralize the objection. Anything less and I promise you, you’ll fail. I trained many a salesperson, and rarely did one succeed who didn’t fully prepare before going into the field. Executing effectively when you’re ill prepared is like trying to speak Swahili in Russia—you’ll look like a fool.”

How important is your sales career to you? What does it mean to you? Are you willing to settle for also-ran status, or do you hunger to be among the very best? Top-tier sales professionals, especially the masters, prepare to the Nth-degree. They know every aspect of their business backwards forwards, and sideways. They’re never caught off guard by any question or objection; the answers/rebuttals are right there at their fingertips, ready to fly. They’re so prepared that when they get a “tough” question or objection, they smile internally, because the response has been instilled into them.

They read sales books, blogs; they listen to audio recordings; they study and model the masters in their company, industry; they get in front of the bathroom mirror and practice. They leave no stone unturned, nothing is left to chance.

The preparation they put forth is worthy of a Michael Jordan, not an Allen Iverson. (Ever listen to Iverson’s rant about practice?) They’re not going to sacrifice their career, livelihood because a football game on television is more important than being fully prepared to call on prospects.

If up to this point you’ve been preparation lazy, unwilling to put in the necessary time to become 100% prepared to call on prospects/customers, I hope you’ll make a resolution to change your ways.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Go forth and prepare. Make 2013 the Year of Preparation.


Get your free Preview of Selling Fearlessly’s Chapter 1 here.