One of the first, and hardest lessons to learn as a salesperson is how to effectively ask for the business. It can be scary, challenging, and ultimately, rewarding. But asking is not enough. Follow through is everything. Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani gave a keynote speach for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Summit in Las Vegas last February. Politics aside, his messages about Leadership and teamwork were funny, and spot on. He talked about how every Seahawk's player and Coach took responsibility for their part in the Superbowl loss and he poked some fun at Brian Williams.
He took questions at the end, and one man asked if Mr. Giuliani had a fourth for his golf game that afternoon. He took the agent's card and said he'd call if their unconfirmed fourth didn't show. Coincidentally, we met the former Mayor at the hotel after his golf game and asked if the fourth guy had shown up for golf. Nope. Mr. Giuliani had then called the agent, who didn't answer his phone.
What an incredible "ask" for the business - on a microphone in front of thousands of colleagues, one lone salesperson asking to golf with one of the best known people in the world. And completely negated by an epic follow-through failure.
This isn't a lecture about answering your phone (a minimum requirement for success in this business). Anyone in the room that day who really wanted to golf with Mr. Giuliani could have shown up at the clubhouse ready to go at his tee time. No one did.
It's exciting - exhilarating even - when we ask for something we want and the answer is "yes!" But getting an initial yes doesn't magically put money in your bank account or mean you're on a golf course with Mr. Giuliani. That takes follow through - persistence, commitment and intense focus on achieving the ultimate goal.
And many times, the follow through that lands you the business takes action outside of the "norm." It means taking that extra step - doing one more thing that your competition didn't. Being and doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal. That's being all in. That's follow through.