For the past eight years at the end of July, I’ve joined my bike racing teammates for the week-long Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Founded in 1973, RAGBRAI has become the longest, largest and oldest bicycle touring event in the world.
As an added challenge this year, a select group of us decided to leave our high tech, carbon fiber, sub-15 pound multi-geared road bikes at home and ride our single speeds across nearly 500 rolling miles of Iowa, from the Missouri River on the west to the Mississippi River on the east.
Our goal was to keep things simple – one gear, a consistent tempo, and lots of laughs along the way. Since we’ve all been riding and racing bikes for 15+ years and ride thousands of miles together every season, we’re well tuned into each others riding tendencies and abilities and were excited for the adventure.
The downside of being equipped with only one gear is that you’re forced to tackle varied terrain using only your legs and lungs. When ascending hills, its all about seated power. However, when descending you eventually get to the point where your legs cannot spin any faster due to being gear-restricted. Sometimes I pictured myself looking exactly like a hamster in a wheel – spinning and spinning but not getting anywhere (until the road flattened out or started to point up and my 48×18 gearing again become relevant.
When I found myself spinning frantically – my legs simply could not go any faster – my hips started to rock side to side and my technique fell apart. The only thing to do at that point was to stop pedaling, regain my composure, and then start pedaling again when the terrain naturally matched my gearing and each pedal stroke provided power to the wheels.
OK, so how does all of this relate to sales you ask? At some point, we’re all trying frantically to meet with clients, make recommendations, and close sales. We’re moving so quickly that often lose our composure; overlooking small details, making uncommon mistakes, forgetting to follow up. This makes us less effective as salespeople while making the sales process less efficient.
Like a hamster spinning in a wheel, it’s easy to fall into a routine that finds us operating at a frenzied pace and getting nowhere. We do a disservice to ourselves and our clients when we lose focus of our objectives and let things slip through the cracks.
Sometimes you just need to stop, regain your composure, and then restart…with renewed enthusiasm and a solid sales strategy.
Have a terrific week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org