The “Look How Far You've Come” Close
Once upon a time you couldn’t walk or talk and you went to the bathroom all over yourself. Someone had to feed you mashed up food with a spoon and more of it got on you than in you. And now look how far you come!
I use the above close a lot in sales, and here’s why: it changes a prospect from a deficiency state into a growth state.
Many prospects at the point of sale get scared to commit to a bigger version of themselves, so instead they shrink down to that small, defensive, “just preserve the status quo” state. Hardly an empowering state to be in, but it’s a natural reflex, like closing your eyes when sneezing.
To help someone break out of such a deficient state, the “look how far you’ve come close” comes in handy. You take the emphasis off lack (I don’t have a business; I haven’t lost the weight; I’m depressed) and get someone excited because damn!
Anybody who made it to 20 has actually accomplished a million milestones.
I use this close on myself a lot. I have a little booklet where I track all sorts of wins I’ve had over the years - big and small. I learned to tie my shoes - win! I can juggle 3 tennis balls reasonably well - win! My heart has successfully beaten at least 20,498,400 - win!
Everybody you sell and everyone you coach is sitting on a treasure trove of wins but when the emphasis is on improvement, the focus because of what’s missing… not on the historical successes.
Some mornings I have trouble getting out of bed. I don’t want to work out. I want to eat cake in my underwear.
Then I pull out my booklet and remember another “underwear” story that goes like this.
I’m 10, and I traveled from Iowa down to Tulsa, Ok to wrestle in the kids freestyle and greco roman national championships. Because my dad and I were both insane, we thought it was a good idea for a 10 year old kid to cut weight for this tournament.
When I weighed in, I was over the limit. If I didn’t lose some excess weight in the next 30 minutes, I’d be disqualified from the tournament. Problem was I had already cut a lot of weight and I didn’t have any energy left. I initially weighed in wearing only underwear, so I took them off, and hopped on the scale naked in front of all sorts of strangers.
When you’re starving and dehydrated though, you don’t care. That took off some weight, but not enough - I was still a tenth of a pound over.
My dad, in his infinite wisdom, tells me a trick he learned in his wrestling days - if you stand on your head, somehow you lose a tiny bit of weight temporarily. I didn’t believe him but I was half delirious from the cut anyway so why not? Now I’m naked, my dad holding me upside down for a half a minute. This is my life.
But it worked. I made weight, and went out and somehow managed to place nationally in both styles.
10 year old me went harder than 39 year old me goes now.
Difference was I didn’t know any better then. I hadn’t practiced and gotten good at making excuses yet. I had too much curiosity and not enough worries. But what 39 year old me has now is pride. I ain’t letting some snot nosed 10 year old kid show me up. So I get on with it.
And it’s always the same. The hardest part is the first minute or two. Then you hit the groove. It’s the getting going that’s tough - an object at rest stays at rest and all that jazz.
Point being - remember your wins. You have a million of them. Find a way to more easily recall them, then invest them in your now and watch your wins multiply.