Icy Patches (Issue 1033)

In which we are reminded to anticipate, through pre-call research, the impact of past events on clients or prospects we’re seeing now.

 After a long stretch of bone-crushing cold, temperatures had warmed a bit and we’d received four inches of fluffy snow. With the early afternoon temperatures at about 30 degrees, I decided to break away from the office for a walk. I pulled on my snow boots and headed toward nearby Rideout Field. [Rideout is a several-acre expanse of open space for baseball and soccer fields, a children’s play area, and tennis courts.]

The field looked beautiful in the early afternoon sun. Apart from a few foot prints near the entrance, the snow lay untouched. The best!!! I turned to my right and headed toward the tennis courts, delighted to be outside, thrilled to see the snow-covered trees and grass.

I’d walked about forty yards. My next foot down was my right; the instant I stepped down, I could tell: I’d slipped on a sheet of ice under the snow.

Doing my best imitation of a gymnast’s split as I hit the ground, I bruised my right knee and it felt like somebody had jabbed a knife into my left shoulder blade from the back. I could barely breathe, the pain was so bad. I lay in the snow on my back for about three minutes catching my breath, such as it was, rubbing my right knee.

A young dad with a couple of pre-school kids walked by. When I groaned and creakily began to stand up, he said, “Oh, I thought you were stretching.” Yup, buddy, that’s what all of us to do, laying motionless in the snow on a winter afternoon in a fleece and khaki pants.

Never mind. Bent a little to the left to favor my left shoulder and right knee, I shuffled the 40 yards back safe footing in the plowed parking lot.

“Why did this happen???”, I wondered.

And, then, I remembered. Several days prior to the snow fall, we’d had a brief thaw, during which we’d received an inch or so of rain that puddled on the frozen ground, followed by deep freeze temperatures, creating the ice, followed by the snow. Made perfect sense.

Except, I hadn’t thought of any of that as I approached the field. In that moment, the field just looked gorgeous, perfect for a walk… and now I could barely take a breath due to the ripping sharp pain in my back and shoulder.

Note to self: Before jumping into what looks like a dazzling, picture-perfect present, whether snow-covered field or client sales effort, dig in to both the sequence of past events and their implications which, even if hidden from view in the moment, can lead to a slip and fall.

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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