I recently caught the bug of a new HBO series called "True Detective." It's not for everyone and it's only in the second season, but my wife and I we utterly consumed by season one's gritty reality. The show focuses on both the exciting and mundane world of law enforcement investigation. Unlike a "Law and Order," in "True Detective," we're not spared the tedious and frustrating nature of tracking down a lead, checking old public records, or shifting-directions as one lead looks more promising than the other. The series also shows the importance of visualizing an investigation by story-boarding things like connections between people, locations involved, statements made and more.
As I watched the drama unfold over season one, I starting thinking about the parallels of criminal investigations (that a police detective might do), and the "investigations" salespeople do every day.
- We "track down" leads. Sometimes they're qualified, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they push us in the wrong direction.
- We have to do the "tedious" things that nobody (including detectives) like to do. We have to document what we do (or the criminal/sale gets away). We have to connect information together. We have to try things 100 different ways before it works.
- There are consequences. Detectives know that if they don't catch the bad guy, something bad is likely to happen - again. In sales, the consequence is losing a sale, or your sales reputation!
- Detectives have to interview "people of interest," to get them closer to the suspect. Salespeople have to interview different decision-makers and influencers to get them closer to the sale.
- It's the smallest thing that makes all the difference. Detectives know that the smallest clue sometimes leads them right where they need to be. Salespeople often look back and think, "If I would have just seen that one piece of information. . . "
In many respects, all salespeople are detectives. We aim carefully, define prospects, investigate clues and set the right influence to capture the sale. Visualize your sale...connect the dots. No badge required.