March 30; The Horror of Asking for Directions MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK: 365 Daily Bible Verse & One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful
Chapter Three: Execution; 30 March
Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
|The Horror of Asking for Directions|
Lost is Good
Decades ago Your Business Professor was a sales guy carrying a bag from account to account. I spent most of my years with start-up companies selling new medical devices and advanced medical procedures in hospitals. On the first visit to any unfamiliar department I would start the sales process with the same two worlds:
I would debase myself and throw myself on the mercy of the clinician. I was a humble unthreatening rube who didn’t know what to do or where to go. (It had the added benefit of being true.)
It is a cliché that no one ever wants to be sold – as in “being sold a bill of goods” where the buyer pays for a receipt and little else. “Being sold” sounds and feels like a subservient subordinate position where the sales representative dominates.
To get things done; to get products sold; to execute a plan trust must be established. The best method I found as a new-guy to an account was to, well, ask for directions. This would disarm even the most wary gatekeeper. It is a well-documented fact based in academic literature that males never ask for directions.
In a poll conducted in the late 1990’s by Frank Luntz, “fully one-quarter of the electorate had a negative opinion of capitalism—and the primary reason was the perceived behavior of corporate America.” (Frank Luntz 2007) The money-making behavior is perceived as greedy and less than humble.
So I left my pride and my substantial ego at the customer’s front entrance. This helped me to be a better sales rep and probably kept me out of temptation and trouble as Proverbs 16:18 says, Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
I found that even the most battle-hardened heart surgeon would stop and give me directions to help this lost soul. A prideful, haughty spirit does not sell; does not get things done.