Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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A History Lesson - July 11, 2015

I awoke this morning in Gettysburg, PA. I’m here with my family for a lacrosse tournament that my son will be participating in and I can’t stop thinking about the historical ground for which we will walk. The tournament is taking place on the athletic fields of Gettysburg College which butt-up against the Gettysburg Battle Fields. In fact, the tour busses come within a few feet of the end lines of the lacrosse fields with monuments so close that the boys can read the inscriptions from the sidelines.

 

As we were arriving yesterday afternoon, driving right through the center of town, my children were bombarding my wife and I with questions. We very quickly needed to get our history caps back on and remember all that we learned in high school and college. It’s been a long time since I last visited Gettysburg, but it didn’t take long for me to begin to remember its significance, the great loss of lives on the ground around me, and the sacrifices that were made many, many years ago.

 

I’ve been sitting in the hotel lobby quietly thinking of my topic for this post but my mind keeps wandering to the history around me. And it hit me…history. You see, all too often in my own blogging, as well as all of the writings in the market about sales, we focus on the here & now. We focus on what we need to do today, learn today, to prepare for tomorrow. Very rarely do we go back in time and think historically.

 

I am sitting in one of the most historic places in our country and it has me now thinking backward in time. What was it like during the Civil War? How far have we really come? And then my mind continues to move from one place in time in my own life to another. Quickly I became entranced by my own history, living in Maryland, North Carolina, Florida and eventually moving to Ohio. I began to think about how I’ve spent the past 20+ years and then I began to think about my career and how it has developed over time.

 

It didn’t take long for me to realize the history, my (your) own history, can help me (you) prepare a path for my (your) future. Examining the previous paths taken, decisions made, deals won or lost, will certainly be a benefit in planning for the future. Sometimes it’s good when history repeats itself. How did I win that client? Can I repeat the process? And, other times, it is best to let a past situation stay in the past…let it stay history.

 

The most important reminder, as I wrap this post up and get ready to head to the lacrosse fields is this, history is taught in grade school, high school, college and beyond for a reason. In order for an individual or a society to grow, one must first learn where they’ve come from. Your sales career should be no different. Learn from your past, plan for your future based on this historical knowledge, and grow.

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