A number of years ago I was part of a sales leadership off-site that began with several of us getting dinner at a great new restaurant outside the city. The menu featured a variety of creative main dishes spanning the spectrum of typical country fare. After careful review of the options, the team members placed our orders one by one, each selecting something different, seemingly secure in their choices. I was the last to order.
Now, like many people, I love great food and fancy myself a decent home cook. So when it comes to restaurant dining, I appreciate that not all dishes on a menu are created equal. Though variety is the mainstay of most menus, and despite many promising-sounding options, I never want to be that guy who picks the wrong thing. You know—the menu item that makes the server think, “I can’t believe he ordered that!” So I usually craft a short-list and ask for their recommendation. On this particular night, the description of the tenderloin caught my eye.
“How’s the tenderloin?” I asked.
At that moment the world seemed to stop. The waiter paused and lowered his notepad. He then locked eyes with me in a tractor beam-like gaze as a very serious look came across his face. The rest of the table fell silent, curiously waiting to see what would happen next. “Oh sir,” said the waiter in a voice that was both serious and reassuring. “It’s incredible!” His smile re-emerged. “It’s the best thing on the menu in my opinion.” Over the next few moments, he proceeded to describe the maple syrup reduction and parsnip mash that accompanied the dish. By the end of his short, Oscar-worthy monologue, six of the eight people in our party changed their order!
What does conviction look like in sales?
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