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Even a blind squirrel-

Updated: Apr 19

Long ago in a faraway place (ok, Florida), I had a team of coachable young salespeople.

I was their somewhat new, also a young manager. These guys were enthusiastic and easily motivated…gosh, bringing donuts to a meeting made them think I was the best manager ever.

I also had Fred.

Fred was in his late 50s and was sent to me by an old friend. My friend had told me he was working at station in Miami that did not appreciate him for the wonderful person he was.

I met Fred and thought he was terrific and eager to be part of a team that truly loved each other. He even received a nickname—” Fred, Fred Cabbage Head”— it still makes no sense to me. He had gray hair and did not at all resemble a cabbage.

The team was eager to learn. So we began including 15-30 minutes of training in EVERY one of our weekly meetings. This is something we still suggest for nonprofits!

I started to notice that Fred walked instead of running. This was not a work ethic issue, it just was how Fred rolled. He also was not a closer. He was a research-driven, data-focused, storytelling salesperson. He also loved working at the station and did not want to disappoint me or his teammates.

Our training had moved along nicely, and we were up to the sales math portion. We talked about calls that turned into proposals that turned into orders. The team participated and was excited (sorta) to start tracking their closing radios. After the meeting, Fred walked into my office and shut the door-not usually a good sign.

Fred says, Sharon, I had an “ah ha” in the meeting.

Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.

a blind squirrel

He said—If I make enough calls, even if I have a smaller closing ratio- I can make it up with increasing my volume of new calls.

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!

So, what are the takeaways from Fred and this story of many years ago.

Training should be an ongoing part of your meetings.

Many folks learn better with a little bit of information over a period of time. This also allows some on the team to share how something has worked for them or even lead the team if this is something they are very best at! You can hire a consultant (I hear Team Kat & Mouse is SO good) to assemble a training schedule and curriculum!

Try and find a way for all types of people to succeed on your team.

You all don’t have to do “it” the same way. In fact, having different types of folks on your team enables you to find a personality on your staff to get along with virtually any type of donor.

Sales math works for those who walk fast or walk slow…Just the number of calls they make to start must be adjusted to match their closing ratio.

Need to set up a schedule of training for your team?

Want to know more about sales math?

Interested in learning about TKM’s best practices for prospecting?

Team Kat & Mouse can help. Drop me a line today!

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