Sales, Golf & Lexus Navigation

This morning, Dave Kurlan and I were talking in the office. Neither of us was supposed to be there, but it started raining on him after 4 holes of golf and I had stopped in to see if Chris Mott wanted to have lunch. So, we had a few minutes to socialize. When he told me that his golf game got rained out, I suggested that we trade houses. Then he could grab a hole whenever he had a few minutes. He then mused aloud, “How can you live on a golf course and not play golf?” I replied that I had witnessed a lot of frustration from my back yard and I didn’t see myself asking for frustration. Dave told me that he’d stopped feeling the frustration. He now realized that occasionally he’d hit a shot that wound him up off the fairway. When that happens, he looks at the lie and thinks, “How did I get here?” He then looks in the direction of the green. Picks up a club and gets himself out. Almost simultaneously, we both added, “Kind of like sales”. How many times are you on a sales call and you ask yourself, “How did I get here?” As long as you’re in the moment, you look at where you are, where you need to get and ask the next question.

This exchange reminded us that there’s sales lessons everywhere. All you have to do is watch. Yesterday, Dave and I went to Cambridge to have lunch with Brian Halligan, followed by a meeting with him and my son Mark. Then we got to meet Dharmesh Shah and the rest of the Hubspot team. It was cool being in a building with all that brainpower and entrepreneurial spirit. Anyway, the sales lesson actually happened on the way to lunch. We’re in Dave’s Lexus, and he had put our destination into his navigation system (the map mistress) and we’re following the blue line on the map.

Here it comes. You ready?

So, Dave’s on the phone and not giving the map mistress his full attention and he misses his turn into Boston University. This was so cool. The screen flashed. Then the words, “RECALCULATING ROUTE” came on the screen and a few seconds later we had a new blue line on the map. There were two sales lessons here.

First, the map mistress looked at where we were, where we wanted to go and showed us how to take the next step.

Second, the map mistress didn’t berate us, call us stupid, or tell us to pay attention. It just showed us the next step. How many times have we wasted time and energy on a sales call yelling at ourselves (in our heads) when all we needed to do was take the next step in the right direction.

There’s one more thing. If I hadn’t been in the car, Dave wouldn’t have known that he missed the turn, nor that the route had been recalculated. He would have ended the call, looked down at the blue line and gone on like he hadn’t been off the fairway. Cool, huh?

Incidentally, both Dave and I realized that this story needed to be posted. I got elected.

Thank you for reading.

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