The Recording (Issue 1020)

In which we are encouraged to practice our client conversations more.

In an earlier lifetime, I sang three nights a week in a small band in a hotel bar. Between performances, although I had another full-time focus, I wrote and recorded music that I hoped might lead to a music performance career.

We had a couple of shots at the next step up: I was invited to join a “not yet quite making it big” band for a European tour. Through a guy we met in the bar one night, we connected with a talent manager in New York who agreed to listen to our recordings. Her answer – “You guys sound great and it’s not commercially viable” – pretty much did us in and the band members went our separate ways.

But I’ve never lost my love of the music and the sounds my guitars produce. While I stopped performing a long time ago and, sometimes, years passed during which I’d play very little, more recently I’ve been playing 30 minutes almost every day for personal entertainment. Enough to keep the engines running.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to compose and record four minutes of guitar music for a video she’s producing. “Sure,” I said. “Happy to.”

Compared to “live” performance, the recording process is exacting. Every mistake is audible.

During the following three weeks, I sorted out some themes and began practicing for the recording, reaching for the point at which every finger placement for every chord change was automatic and  clean. Instead of 30 minutes a day, I ramped up to 60. I began to hear bits of the four minutes in my head constantly during the day.

On the date I’d chosen for the recording, I warmed up in ‘early practice’ mode, slowing down almost to a crawl to work through each chord change until it was clean. After almost an hour,  I turned on the microphone. I got a good track.

A friend in the banking industry last week shared a story with me, one that he’d heard from a former Boston Celtics basketball assistant coach who came to speak to the bank’s leadership team. As the assistant coach told the story: One day, after practice, he was headed out the door and Kevin Garnett, one of the Celtics stars, asked the him where he was going. The coach said, “I’m going to talk to a group of business people.” As the assistant coach relayed the story to my friend and his colleagues at the bank, Kevin Garnett’s response was, “Hey, coach, why don’t you ask them why business people never practice?”

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .

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