When to Risk?


People are trained from an early age to avoid risk (not the board game – that’s awesome). Much of your job as a salesman is to show that your option is less risky, or conveys a bigger reward for the risk, than your competition. This is one of the reasons that it is hardest to unseat an incumbent – people would rather take the pain they know than risk getting something more painful.

Salespeople are not immune to this behavior. We often will look at the things we have to do in a day or week and stall as long as possible on the risky stuff. How many times have you come in and put off cold calling (risk of hearing no or getting hung up on), or sending out a proposal (risk of failure), or as the sales manager put off having the hard talk with a team member about their performance or attitude (risk of personal strife)?

If you push these things off, they’ll be the first ones you cut when something else comes up, the first ones you “run out of time for”. This only makes the risks bigger.

So stop doing it.

Seriously, stop stalling.

Do The Risky Stuff First

Have the hard conversations early in the week. Make the cold calls early (10 before 10?). Send that proposal on Monday. Put your neck out there as early as you can. That gives you as much time as possible to react and recover from how they turn out. It answers those lingering questions that are pulling on the back of your mind.

Best of all, it gives you instant feedback. The sooner you ask, the sooner you get an answer. The sooner you get things signed up or off your list.

Just do it.

Just do it