As a young girl, I loved to play Hopscotch in the driveway of my house. Often my my friend and neighbor Lauren would join me and we would get the biggest kick out of using those huge pieces of colored chalk to draw our Hopscotch board along with several artistic designs, of course.

In my teenage years my favorite outdoor game was Four Square. I can still remember how many sprained fingers we would end up with trying to return a ball that had been slammed with such a vicious spin on it that even the sender would feel compelled to apologize…well, sometimes. We all knew two things: that there was no crying in Four Square and that the bragging rights were worth the pain. Along with many debates as to whether the ball was “in” or “out”, there were a lot of laughs and a ton of high-fives! Perhaps part of this memory being such a fond one for me is that I most often played with my cousins that were closer than siblings and still are, as well as the really cute boy that lived next door to them, who is now my husband!

Now as adults, from time to time our family will find ourselves at a wedding, a big birthday celebration or an anniversary party engaged in a group childhood game. No, not Hopscotch or even Four Square – but rather a good ‘ole fashioned round of Hokey-Pokey. Corny? Yes! But later in the evening, it’s great for a good laugh!

On the contrary, Hokey-Pokey is not a good game to play in the art of professional selling. Too often sales executives aren’t getting the results they would like because their activity level is similar to doing the Hokey-Pokey. They “put the effort in, then take the effort out, then put the effort in, then shake it all about!”

Consistency is key in getting in a return on investment of our time, energy and activity. Put both feet in and keep them there from the initial step of the process, through the follow-up and right to a successful close. As a true sales professional, the only thing we should be “shaking all about” is the hands of prospects!!

Diane Ciotta
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