Like most people, I imagine, I sometimes wonder whether what I do is all worthwhile.
And I was struck by one of those strange maudlin moods over the weekend, actually when I saw an English flag at the World Cup Finals that read England: Can’t Play, Can Referee!
The maudlin feeling came over me when the second part of that statement turned out not to be true.
Then I was reminded of a chance encounter at a franchise exhibition earlier in the year. Was walking across the entrance concourse towards the exhibition when, out of the corner of my eye I saw a figure waving at me.
As I turned I saw it was a franchisee we’d trained just a few months before… I guess he’d been running his business for 9 or 10 weeks or so. Just as I was about to wave back, words rang out across the concourse that I will never forget:
‘Oi, Lambert,’ he shouted.’ All that bollocks you taught us a few weeks ago works!’
Heads turned in astonishment (not sure if the heads were reacting to someone shouting or to someone actually admitting to something working) but I couldn’t help shouting back:
‘You don’t say!’
Later, over a cup of coffee, my noisy friend, in a quieter moment, explained more about what had been going on in his new business.
Apparently he’d never been in sales and it was the bit of being in business he had been most nervous about. The fact that we had given him a process to follow to guide him though sales meetings and we’d reassured him that sales was nothing to do with personality, but all about the system, meant a lot to him.
He was able to apply the system and be himself – vital in sales – and it was working for him. To be fair, he had a fair measure of faith; he believed in what we taught him and, like a self fulfilling prophecy, it was working for him.
As a result of applying the system, he was already employing another person top help him in the business and that was so he could concentrate on business development.
The thing that touched me most, though, was that he told me, in his early meetings, he had my voice in his head telling him what to say next.
A scary prospect, that: I have my voice in my head all the time and I wish, sometimes, I would just shut up and get on with things.