In corporate sales the 4th Quarter is about making the numbers for the year. It’s about corporate profitability and sometimes its about company survival. Gary Walker, EVP of Channel Sales & Operations, CustomerCentric Selling expressed it this way:
"You can’t approach this fourth quarter as business as usual. You have to approach the remainder of this year with a sense of urgency. Here are some steps that you can take with some suggested dates: Re-grade your existing pipeline using the Pipeline Grading Form. Who are your real fourth quarter opportunities? When: Now! Take control of your sales pipeline. When: No later than November 1st. Send an email to all C (Champion) prospects, followed by a personal phone call, advising them that this is a critical quarter and asking them if it is their intent to make a selection decision by the end of December. You might as well find out who is real or not. "
On a wholly different tack; one of my heroes from history is the Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca. Hannibal took his army of an assortment of nations and war elephants over the Italian Alps, in the dead of winter. He did this to completely surprise his state's mortal enemy Rome. Hannibal successfully waged war on Roman soil for twenty years, without reinforcements of troops or supplies. He was asked about the Alps march and the impossibility everyone imagined it to be. He said "We will either find a way, or we will make a way". He had sworn to his father that he would always be Rome's enemy. He kept that promise. His was a burning desire.
In our own nation's history there is Stonewall Jackson. He was perhaps the finest military leader our nation ever produced. Stonewall's infantry often covered fifty miles a day, ill clad and under nourished. Their general often split his forces to overcome armies three times the size of his own. He rode in front of his troops on scouting patrols. He did so with complete faith that if his time had come -- then it was his time. He said: "never give counsel to your fears." He and his men fought as if their lives and that of their families at home depended on it. They possessed an unmatched sense of urgency.
In much of my recruiting work, I have helped to staff start-up companies. They operate often on a shoestring budget with a small staff. They routinely bring wholly new creations in predictive analytics for healthcare, novel approaches to semiconductors, e-commerce aggregations of products from around the world, completely new systems in inventory control, etc. I could go on and on with their description. But the founder and founding team's vision is expansive and revolutionary. To stand with these tech giants is wholly inspirational. The mental leaps they make in connections of technology are astounding. They play for "all the marbles". The individuals who join that ride have a set of incredible memories. And sometimes they have stock that makes their financial fortunes. The founders and their mighty team (if small), know great passion. They have a true 4th Quarter Mentality. They know how to stretch and reach and do the very nearly impossible.
What makes heroes? Do they have no fear? Or is the truth really that they experience fear like all of the rest of us? No, they feel fear and just go right through it. "Motivation, Determination" as the Marines say. The 4th Quarter Mentality is within you and me. We simply need to access it. Yes we definitely need to learn and train and develop the right skills. But then when its time to go all out -- we find the right mojo and make the impossible happen. Let's Be Heroes!