“I don’t care if we’re out of it or not, if I’ve got a chance to pitch, I want to.”
— Greg Maddux
After I’d talked with him over the phone about how I feel about exploring new ways of marketing he felt inspired, yet, uncertain. He said: “You’ve given me a lot to think about here. Let me digest it, you set up a pitch meeting and we’ll talk some more!”
My initial feeling was one of “Uhm, what? No, no, no. If this hasn’t won you over, fuck you.”
Luckily, those feelings aren’t the masters of our behavior if we’re continuously mindful that they exist and actively work against them.
After we’d hung up I started thinking about why he felt that way. It didn’t take too long since we’d gotten a chance to talk about his interests and hobbies that he likes to feel like a renegade. He has this kind of outlaw, wild streak about him.
So, I conjured up an allegory about a gunman in the west who has to choose between two horses. Basically casting him as the hero who calls all the shots.
After doing this I felt icky. I mean, like, I felt slimey all over. I had to take a shower.
It was one of those really manipulative moments. Look, I understood on a logical level that it was for the best. He really wanted to do this, he just needed to feel a certain way about it. All the rational argumentation in the world probably wouldn’t have convinced him unless he ended up feeling like the hero. Still, something just didn’t sit right with me.
I’ve thought about pairing up with a really good salesperson many times over the years. I’m not a particularly good salesperson. I don’t want to go the extra mile to convince anyone who can’t paint the vision for themselves. However, I’ve had to. Atleast when it’s been in their best interest.
Along the way I’ve failed. A lot. Mainly because I didn’t want to use the tools available. Why? Because they made me feel, well, disgusted with myself. Still, I compromised and did it anyway.
I think it’s a good thing I did. Now I’ve got a lot more respect for the craft rather than looking at it as a form of “necessary evil”.
The difference between how I viewed it before going through the process myself and how I view it now is staggering. While I don’t particularly enjoy it I at least know what I’m looking for in a potential ally.
They need to be able to see when it’s in the other person’s best interest to buy in and also understand when the person doesn’t want to be convinced or it isn’t in their best interest to buy into what we have to offer.
Still, I want to have a person willing to step on the mound and do it because they love the process, that they genuinely want the best for people and that they want to do it regardless if they win or lose one particular game.
Are you a good pitcher? What do you think helped you develop that skill?
Please share your experiences in the comments.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!