This Labor Day delivered picturesque weather at the Jersey shore. Temperatures were in the 80’s with low humidity and a nice cool breeze was blowing to cool-off all the sun worshipers on that absolutely perfect beach day! My preferred method for staying hydrated was 2-fisted with an ice water in one hand and a mojito in the other!

In addition to the typical sights, sounds & surroundings that I never grow tired of including crashing waves, sand in my toes and children frolicking around me, today I was particularly aware of the variety of people that I was nestled between. Both young & elderly couples, families with kids of all ages, some people, like myself- alone with a book, a kindle or earbuds plugged into their IPhone to enjoy their choice of music. There where countless umbrellas in all colors and sizes as well as multiple variations of lounge chairs. Some people sat on towels while others sat right on the sand at the water’s edge. A few toddlers cried because their little wet bodies were sand-coated, while teenagers intentionally buried each other to their necks in sand.

Probably the most significant observation was the various means by which people ventured into the Atlantic Ocean to cool themselves off. Many people would get less than ankle deep, then back up for fear of being splashed by the next incoming wave and forfeiting the full experience. Others would wade in waist-high water then let out a scream as they were hit by breaking waves as if they thought the previous one was the last one that would hit them. Still others had absolutely no fear at all and would be totally submerged in no time flat from a running start.

In addition to to enjoying every aspect of that perfect beach day, I couldn’t help but correlate the similarities of my surroundings to the wonderful world of sales. The variety of beach goers is the epitome of how two customers are never the same as they have different needs, different requests and different budgets. At the same time, the range of ways swimmers took to entering the water reminded me how salespeople also take the different approaches towards prospecting. Some are only willing to get ankle deep in new business development activities, then they back away forfeiting their potential for success. Others will venture in about half-way and then react at the first sign of an objection (as if the previous one was the last one that they’d be hit with) as well as without any follow-up which greatly decreases their opportunity. Then there are those that take a running start and don’t stop until they are all in!

Yes, just like taking a swim in the ocean- new business contacting means running through some rough surf, but the the faster we do it- the less cold it will feel and the deeper we go- the closer we’ll get to smooth water…because the waves always only crash at the shore line.

Diane Ciotta
Follow Diane