Do not wait until it rains to fix the roof!

Nicolas Caron

Published : 2 October 2018
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Do not wait until it rains to fix the roof!


A couple of months ago, I gave a training course to a team of top sales. I was impressed at how knowledgeable and business-savvy these high level experts were.  Also, their activity meters were nodding accordingly. They really had no shortage of business opportunities… At the end of the day I couldn’t refrain from asking the question that had been on my mind all along: « How come you are still so eager to train and improve after all this success? I mean, one could argue that you didn’t really need this course… ».  One of them immediately answered : « Well Nicolas, it’s when the weather is fine that you get to fix the roof! »…

Case rested!

Of course I was delighted to hear this. It’s always a great pleasure to train a team of top guns!

Here are a few ideas that flow backwards from this judicious life principle…


Seek advice from the best


Which of the two following situations do you think is the most frequent?

  • Seeking justification for one’s own mediocre results by complaining about the unequal distribution of client portfolios and logistical resources; or
  • Inviting the company’s best sellers for lunch in order to solicit their advice and gather some insights into what they do to be that good.

The most quick and effective way to reach summits is to seek advice from a seasoned alpinist who has a rich and extensive experience of scaling summits.

In the corporate world this means looking around you to identify those who shine the most and whom everybody admires. Then instead of taking the easy way out and complaining about the difficulties you encounter, you should observe these top players and try to figure out what they do differently in order to emulate them.


Learn from your mistakes!


The seller’s job is a difficult one and failure is part of the game.  Selling, seducing, or convincing is not an exact science. Excellence is no guarantee for success. I repeat: excellence is no guarantee for success. Sometimes, even though we do everything perfectly, we still fail to hammer out a deal. This is an integral part of our business. Therefore, it is important that we accept it if we are to bounce back and pursue new business with continued enthusiasm. For a salesperson, that’s the key to success.

But at other times, let’s not bury our heads in the sand; failure comes as a result of bad preparation, a lack of professionalism, poor discernment in analysing the situation, or perhaps an insufficient capacity for adaptation. In that case, you must be able to take responsibility for your mistakes instead of looking for excuses and blaming the customer or marketing department. Making mistakes is not a problem as long as you keep building and capitalizing upon them. To progress is about learning from our mistakes. We can all make mistakes as long as we draw conclusions that help us progress and move forward.


Swim & Smile like a duck


While they may not seem like it, the best sellers are also very hard workers.They are like ducks! You don’t see what I mean? Well, next time you see ducks on a pond, watch them closely. You’ll notice that they do not seem to tire; they even look like they are smiling. In any case, they do not appear to be trying too hard… Even though they are swimming vigorously, you don’t see it. Their legs are working very hard under water, but the smile you see above the surface would have you think that they are moving effortlessly. The ducks/sellers I am talking about are all the silent toilers who never complain and from whom no one ever needs to ask anything. They do not skimp when it comes to acting professionally. They do what needs to be done to know their offer inside out, but also keep tabs on the big market trends, customer issues, and competing offers. They keep smiling as they continually expand their “comfort zone” and seek out new learning opportunities. But behind their apparent ease, there are hours of invisible work and investment. Experience has shown us that the best salespeople are often the ones requesting the most contributions from our Halifax consultants.


Create a “habit” of progress!

“Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going. ” – Jim Ryun


In order to make daily progress, you have to make progress into a habit. The power of habits is simply phenomenal. Nothing can stop habits (the good ones, but unfortunately, the bad ones as well) ploughing their furrow every day. They are what sculpts who we are day after day. We are the sum of our habits.

All the progress you will make each day will eventually make a huge difference. If you edge closer to excellence every day, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. The effort has to be daily, regular, and relentless. It will have benefits in terms of not just your results, but also most importantly, your mind and your pleasure at work. Of course, this is easier said than done. But in the end, it’s just a matter of discipline. The discipline to reject the alternative of not worrying about details, staying on familiar soil, and forgetting that the world around us is changing at a dizzying speed. To do nothing to progress is to move backwards.


Do not wait until it rains


That’s it, I’ll leave it here hoping that these few lines will make you want to read, learn, and strengthen some of your skills – in other words, to keep progressing throughout your career by pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. If you get into this habit, I’m sure that you will be the happiest of ducks… A duck who smiles even when it rains…


Have a good sales day!

Nicolas CARON

© Halifax Consulting


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