Consider top performers in school, business, arts and performance, or athletics, and you recognize that the ability to consistently deliver top level results is often valued much more than delivering exceptional results 10% of the time, and average results 90% of the time. Being able to exceed expectations time and time again is not an accident, nor is it solely attributable to one’s natural abilities.
Taking the example of athletics, I quite frequently hear stories about the most productive players on a team being “superstitious” and doing the exact same thing prior to each game. Same meal for breakfast, putting the left sock on before the right, wearing a lucky t-shirt, listening to the same music, sitting on the same place on the bench, having the same routine in pre game warm-ups, etc. You can probably recall a funny story about an athlete, singer, or performer right now.
Logically, superstitions don’t make any sense… why would putting your left sock on before right sock equate to hitting more homeruns for a baseball player? The reason superstitions do make sense, is they force us to follow the same pre-game routine; and that preparation gets us in the right mind set to be successful people.
Translating the pre-game routine to real life
I make a living in complex executive sales and have probably conducted over 300 sit down – face to face meetings with “C” level executives over the years. The same way Randy Moss could probably show up to game time with no practice and no preparation while still being the most productive player on the field, I can just show up and lead a successful meeting with no preparation by “shooting from the hip”.
While it may not be technically necessary to prepare in the same manner for every meeting I conduct, the process of going through a routine gives me the absolute confidence and focus to nail every meeting, 100% of the time. While I won’t close every deal, I will not fail to close a deal because I wasn’t prepared or focused. Pre-game routines and superstitions help us remove the distractions, surprises, doubts, and lack of confidence far ahead of time, so by the time you enter a board room, you will own the room and your confidence and expertise will be evident to everyone else as well.
Pre-Game Sales Warm-up
– Be 30 minutes early to any onsite meeting
– Find a mirror and check the hair, teeth, and straighten the tie
– Turn off cell phone 20 minutes before the meeting
– Have a half notebook page full of my “standard” information
o Date, location, time
o Names and titles
o Meeting objectives
o Possible objections to any of my key points I will be making
– Have 5 more business cards than necessary, and a nice pen in my suit pocket
– Have one good “ice-breaking” comment, story, or observation ready to go ahead of time