The Story of Captain Phillips
With three Somali pirates holding him hostage on the rough seas, Captain Richard Phillips’s life hung in the balance as his unwanted and scurvy companions got more and more nervous. Of course, they had good reason to be: they were being tailed the U.S.S. Bainbridge. Though they were nervous, they should have been in outright terror because on the Bainbridge were three, well trained Navy SEAL snipers armed with modified M-4 rifles. As tensions grew to the peak, it was over. The pirates probably didn’t even hear it coming. All three dropped simultaneously and the terror was over.
Practice Makes Perfect
Though you may have heard that story before, there were probably details that you didn’t know. In fact, here is another one to blow your mind (pun not intended): one of the marksmen’s rifles jammed and in a split second switched to his side arm and dropped one of the pirates with a head shot. All three marksmen pulled off headshots, on choppy waters, with minimal visibility. We will give you a second to let that sink in. How does one even get that skilled? Practice. SEAL snipers must put thousands of rounds down range ever single day to get that good. Also, they have to practice in bad situations, like when a rifle jams and you have to use your pistol.
The same applies to any field of life or business, especially sales. Would you want a doctor to “practice” on you for the first time? Of course not! That is what cadavers are for! Practice makes perfect. If you are in sales, practice on people who aren’t clients. Ask your friends or family to act the part of a client. Learn product inside and out in order to not be surprised by any questions that might arise.
Practice Makes… Luck?
Have you ever heard someone say, “That is the luckiest person I know” or “That was just luck”? Usually, someone says those words out of spite, not admiration. However, random chance rarely has anything to do with it. In fact, usually the PRACTICE leads to the awareness of opportunities that others might have missed because they didn’t put in the PRACTICE.
Captain Phillips may have felt lucky, but his rescuers didn’t. In fact, former Navy SEAL, Harry Humphries said that it wasn’t even extraordinary. Such skill is expected. For instance, in my company (Consolidated Assurance), we expect our agents to succeed. Why? Because we have established and ingrained a culture of practice. This is why even in a pandemic, many of our agents not only kept their goals, but exceeded them. "Practice" is what causes us to still succeed even in the midst of uncertainty. "Practice" is how you plan to succeed for the times your initial plans don't succeed.