Sales people can begin with the end in sight through visualization or some other measurement tool that will put the end in perspective. Let me recount a story that will illustrate this principle:

In the early morning of July 4th, 1952, the California Coast was blanketed with fog. Twenty-one miles to the west on Catalina Island, a thirty-four year old woman waded into the water determined to be the very first woman to ever swim the distance from Catalina to the California Coast. Her name was Florence Chadwick. She was a seasoned distance swimmer with incredible stamina. She had already achieved recognition as the first women to swim the English Channel in both directions. As millions of people rooted for her successful swim, she walked into the numbing cold water and began to cut her way through the powerful waves to the California Coast.

As she swam the numbing cold temperature of the water became one of her great adversaries. The sharks that infested the waters were also adversaries. Several times during the course of the swim the people traveling in the boat alongside her had to take rifles and fire them into the water to scare away the sharks that were swimming with her. But her greatest adversary was the dense fog that enveloped her. She could barely see only a few feet in front of her as she swam.

Fifteen hours into her swim she asked to be taken out of the water. After they treated Florence for mild hypothermia they informed her that when she stopped she was less than one mile from the shore. In fact, she was almost at the point where the ocean current would have helped wash her in. She could have ridden the waves to the beach.

Florence told reporters, “If I had known how close I was, I wouldn’t have quit, if I could have only seen the shore. But when I looked up all I could see was fog and it didn’t look like I had made any progress at all. If I could have only seen the shore I could have made it.”

Let me use this story as a metaphor relating to sales people and their ability to clearly visualize their goals and dreams. The importance of being able to look through the fog of discouragement, rejection, and just plain “bad days” can never be over stated. Just like Florence Chadwick, if you can’t see or visualize, or some how measure your achievement as you travel through the many “fogs of life” you may quit even though success is within your reach.

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Copyright: The Business Performance Group, Inc.
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