Mario Andretti, one of the greatest race car drivers of all time, was talking about gasoline at the Daytona 500. “I wonder what one gallon of fuel would have meant to me,” Andretti said.
”I wonder what one gallon of fuel would have meant the time I lost a championship, lost races. It came down to four IndyCar races, two Formula One races, one IndyCar championship, one world championship. One gallon of fuel would have brought me all of that.”
One more gallon of fuel — ultimately the last gallon for the final lap of the race.
You can look like the dental selling champion while you’re in the race, giving your presentations. But if you go empty at the end — just don’t have that last gallon, just don’t do a masterful job of closing — you lose the race.
One more gallon will get you the dentist you’ve been trying for months to attain.
One more gallon will bring you back the customer you lost last year.
One more gallon will elevate you from a doctor’s fill-in to his main supplier.
One more gallon will move you up your career path.
One more gallon will bring you greater responsibilities in your company.
One more gallon will move you from rep to manager, if you choose to enter that race.
One more gallon will keep you ahead of the competition all the way to the checkered flag.
So often we tend to give up, or at least slack off. (Notice I include myself.) I’m not advocating that you drive yourself to insanity by stressing over every task that comes your way, pushing yourself so much that you never have time to enjoy the simple things in life. Rather, you should prioritize. And, when you pick a race to enter, ensure you have everything you need to go all the way to the finish line.
Prioritize and plan. Take Dr. John, for example. He’s at the top of your list because of the size of his business and the prestige he carries. So that’s your priority. Now plan. What’s your strategy to win and keep his business? Plan your every move from the starting line to the finish line. Once you’re in this race, don’t be afraid to make a pit stop and talk to your manager. Check the details. Adjust where necessary. Check your fuel level. Get back on the track and keep moving. Stick with your plan. And make sure you have enough fuel to finish.
Why do we run out of fuel? We think of how much work this is taking, how much more we have to do and then get disgruntled. Or we get distracted from this goal and jump to another that seems easier at the moment. Or we just have a pattern of giving up when things get tough.
What is the fuel that propels a sales rep toward a championship? It is a precision mix of dedication, commitment, focus, endurance and a willingness to fight for what you want. You don’t need these character traits to be an ordinary sales rep — but you do need them if you want to win championships. These become the emotional and mental fuel — the one more gallon — that get you to the finish line.
From MENTOR. October 2017;8(10): 6.