was an interesting item in last Sunday’s New York Times Business Section on Willis Group Holdings’ CEO
Joseph Plumeri. The “Corner
Office” interview was conducted by Adam Bryant.
who’s serious about business and sales should read the Sunday New York
your best career advice?
Everything that I have done I’ve done because I went out and I played in
traffic and something happened.
suggests that we should all go out and play in traffic. We’re not kids anymore, and it’s time
to be a catalyst: make something
For the most part, the
view from the trenches this year—the world of sales—has been pretty dim and foggy. Everyone is waiting for
everyone else to make a move.
Institutions are waiting, customers are waiting, clients are
waiting. It reminds me of the
wildebeests waiting to cross the river.
The crocodiles are waiting but the wildebeests still need to cross.
the year wraps up and we’re running around with our heads chopped off, trying to organize
travel plans and buying gifts and finishing business on a high (or higher) not, we ultimately look
ahead to 2010. It’s going to be a
better year, we tell ourselves. It has to be.
lot of us have already begun writing down our business goals for next year: close so many
deals, bring in so many new clients, finally close that
about attitude? What’s our
attitude going to be like next year?
Are we going to be more assertive?
Are we going to listen more attentively? These and other traits are what make up a good salesperson.
going to take Plumeri’s advice and play in a lot of traffic in 2010. I vow to “get into the game” in
different ways, calling on prospects that aren’t the usual prospects,
connecting more with the clients on a personal level.
are a million ways to sell. The
trick is not only to find what works for you but also to reinvent yourself just
enough to keep things fresh and new. That doesn’t happen if you keep to yourself and stay too close to home.
I tell people,” Plumeri concludes in the interview, “just show up, get in the game, go play in
traffic. Something good will come
wildebeest/crocodile analogy might not be accurate. Perhaps the first ones in the river are the ones that never
make it to the other side. The
business world, however, is different. Those
who make the first moves—the catalysts, the leaders—are the ones who usually come out