Many years ago I worked for a manager and at the start of every Financial Year we would be emailed about a team meeting. What would we like to do as a team bonding event? Ideas would be put forward and the answer …. it would always be Go-Karting.
Now the cynical amongst you will have already worked out that Go-Karting isn’t a team sport. In fact, it pitches the team members against each other. So the event would have the opposite effect, rather than team build, it created competition. Now the really cynical might be thinking that maybe Go-Karting was chosen because the manager was good at it? Let’s see.
If you didn’t know, a Go-Kart is a standard setup, in fact all of them are the same. The same frame, same tyres and the same engine. So different from Formula One (F1) where the constructors build their own car. Go-Karting is all about the skill of the driver. It also helps if you are light. Go-Karting like, rowing, Canoeing, and in fact a number of sports, it isn’t about the “tool” it’s about the people and the process.
Now I’m probably one of the few men that does not think he is an excellent driver, i’m OK but there are many people better than me. Like my Manager, as i was about to find out.
The first year we did it, I hadn’t ever driven Go-Kart before so I got in and drove as fast I could dare. It was 20 minute a heat, 15 minutes into the heat, my manager would lap me. He lapped pretty much everybody else too. Now he wasn’t that much different to weight to me. So we had the same Go-Kart, but he was clearly doing something I was not.
The second year we did it, being the competitive person I am, I did some research on the internet, read some articles. How difficult could this be? I read about racing lines and how to position yourself in the right place on the track. In fact what often the longest approach on a corner was the most efficient. I was finding out it wasn’t all accelerator and break and while going around the corners sideways, while being a laugh, slowed me down.
Come the next years Go-Karting session, I was all ready. You all had to race each other in heats and I knew I wanted to win the heat with my manager. Now after all, I had all the knowledge you could search for on Google in my head. We were in the starting line and the traffic lights were on red, they commenced the count down to green. Then it all seemed to cut into slow motion, how on earth did my manager get away quicker than me? (he had been taught a trick to warm the tyres before the start). So I’m away second, perfect I thought, OK so I won’t win but runner up will be perfect. If I just tuck in behind him, I get in his slip stream and maybe beat him down a straight.
I was never able to catch him. Within 15 minutes he had lapped me and the other people. Afterwards I went up to him, I thought it was good for my career anyway to ask him his secret.
Of course it was simple. He had training from a Go-Karting coach. The coach had taught him about his weight, he dieted before any Go-Karting he did. He had been taught about racing lines and put in hours and hours of practice. There was also other little “hacks” he had been taught, like how to drive defensively without blocking somebody, how to use his feet at the same time, warming the tyres before starting the race to get away quickly, etc etc. Nothing you could get from the internet.
We often see people under take their Social Selling Project the same way. Read a few articles on Social Selling in the internet, maybe even to read a copy of my first book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers”. One company has Just purchased 600 copies for their salespeople, but didn’t purchase any training.
While reading and research is good, it won’t help you win the race. As we know in sales there is no “runner up”, second place is first loser.
Social Selling is relatively new, the first mention of the term was in 2006, that said like driving it requires a programmatic approach with some hints and tips thrown in. As I also found out, it was different from driving on roads and there was a requirement for both mindset and habit change. You won’t get this from HubSpot articles and my book. (Note my book is still worth reading and it’s available on Amazon. 🙂 )
You will only get this from practitioners. People who do this day in and day out. This is what we do, and we run our business along the same lines. We do no advertising, we make no cold calls, we send no unsolicited emails, we don’t have an email list and we attend no events. We live and breath social and teach our clients how to not only embrace social but lap the competition.
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