In my early days I clearly remember learning that my job as a salesperson was to “dig holes” by identifying the many problems my prospective client faced. And to keep digging until those holes (problems) became so deep (big) my despairing client felt so overwhelmed and fearful they would want to grab my solution as a metaphorical ladder to help them clamber out of their dark damp pit of despair.
In recent years the USA military realised that the world they operate in has changed and they needed to change with it. To explain the changed world they use the term VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. As CEO’s and sales leaders we need to change our mode of operation. We need to equip our organisation and our people to deal with this new environment so they could respond in ways that were appropriate to the situation.
“Houston we have a problem!” is a quote made famous by Tom Hanks in his portrayal of Astronaut James Lovell in the 1995 movie Apollo 13 after their spacecraft experiences massive damage ending their mission to the Moon and putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in great jeopardy.
I chose this quote to open my post because just like James Lovell and his crew mates John Swigert, Jr. and Fred Haise Jr – you, me and everybody in the profession of selling face equally great jeopardy. Let me explain why.