Selling can be frustrating sometimes. We can’t change what customers do. We can’t change what competitors do either. But we can change the way we show up ourselves, and in the process, get a better outcome.
The Bill Murray comedy movie Groundhog Day turns 25 this year. It has become a classic not just because it’s funny, but because we have all had that experience of being stuck in a pattern that we simply cannot break out of.
Recently I was stranded at Tamworth Airport for four hours, waiting for a new plane to arrive. The snack bar was shut, and Groundhog Day was the only movie I had on my iPad.
As the movie started to roll, I realised it actually was Groundhog Day (February 2). Instead of a Philadelphia winter, Tamworth was sweltering through a blistering New England summer– parts of the region were entering their 40th consecutive day over 35 degrees.
While my fellow stranded passengers and I were wishing for air-con, Bill Murray trudged through the snow as Phil Connors, a weatherman sent to Punxatawney, Philadelphia each year, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festival.
Phil hates the festival, is rude and dismissive of everyone he meets, and generally just a pain in the butt to be around.
To cut a long story short, the next morning Phil and his crew find themselves waking up at 6am to Groundhog Day again.
The same events repeat that day, and every day after that. Pretty soon, Phil has had enough. Even after driving off a cliff in frustration, he just keeps up waking up every day, the same day, at 6am.
Eventually, Phil starts noticing other people and starts becoming a nicer person. He brings coffee and pastries to his crew, he buys food for a homeless man, and he stops to help three elderly ladies with their broken down car.
In the end, everyone loves Phil. He gets the life he wants, and finally the day stops repeating.
Groundhog Day shows us that we can’t always change our circumstances. We can’t change what other people do. But we can change ourselves, and when we do, we create the space for good things to happen.
It may sound obvious, but if what you’re doing to sell your service or product is not achieving the results you believe you deserve, maybe you need to change something.
Success in sales is really just a case of ready, aim and fire. If your sales pitch isn’t connecting, there’s a good chance you are spending too much time in the ‘aim and fire’ part – targeting customers and firing off pitches, proposals and presentations that simply are not hitting the mark.
Taking the time to rebuild your commercial value proposition – how to talk about what you do so customers want to buy it – could be all it takes to stop you living the same frustrations
over and over again.