A monkey paw has been used in stories and fables for examples of harsh lessons, granting wishes, and unintended consequences. But, the monkey paw has also been used as an illustration of sales discipline. And, sales discipline leads to sales success. In this case, a monkey and his paw illustrate understanding value and executing creative solutions.
Consider a piece of fruit in a clay jar. The monkey knows the fruit is in jar. He can’t see it, but his other senses lets him know. He smells it. He hears it. He puts his paw in the jar and he touches it. The challenge is grasping the fruit and taking it out of the jar. The monkey wants it and knows he will enjoy it. But, for the monkey to reach his goal of enjoying the fruit, he has to demonstrate desire, discipline and creativity.
A sales professional, like the monkey, first identifies the goal. Whether the goal is earning a commission, or securing the fruit, the reward ultimately equates to eating. Success depends on identifying the reward using senses, intuition, and understanding the environment. Upon targeting the reward and the benefit it brings, the pursuit begins! Salespeople, know where your prospects are. Know what they look like, how they behave. Next, focus on the reward. Your motivation and determination for the reward will propel you to achieving your goal time and time again.
The Proven Process
Once the monkey identifies his reward, he systematically pursues it. The monkey puts his hand in the jar. He grabs the fruit. He pulls back his hand. And, it gets stuck in the neck of the jar. The monkey senses the reward. He is determined to get the reward. He grasps the reward. And he is denied. Just like the monkey, the sales professional has a process. Essentially, prospecting, connecting, communicating value, asking for the business, and securing payment are key steps. Fundamentally, success only results from effectively executing the proven process.
Ultimately, the successful monkey takes his attention away from his paw and focuses on the solution. He wins the fruit by tipping the jar over so that the fruit rolls out. Or, the monkey can break the clay jar and pick the fruit off the ground. Likewise, the successful salesperson has to be creative in securing his reward. Through his process, connecting with the prospect may occur through a networking contact. Communicating value may result from discovering a prospect’s specific initiative that his service is uniquely capable of satisfying. Securing payment may result from expert insight to various financing arrangements available for clients. Eventually, successful solutions result from utilizing superior information and creative application concerning prospects’ true needs.
The monkey paw represents solving a specific problem resulting in receiving a valued reward. Similarly, the successful salesperson executes creative solutions to achieve essential and tangible goals. Superior knowledge and disciplined processes are his competitive advantage. Frustrated monkeys can be stifled by grasping their next meal, yet never enjoying it. Fixation on his paw prevents it.
The successful sales professionals keeps his focus on the solution. He has no problem breaking the constraints that seem important, but really have no bearing on successfully earning his reward. Don’t let common thinking limit your achievement. Be the successful professional who finds creative solutions that satisfy client and personal needs.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond