By Lucy Dunn

It is August - time of vacation, family gatherings, enjoying nature and spending more time pursuing your hobbies. So in the spirit of the season this month’s article comes with a “lighter” topic.

Think about it. Successful sales people have a lot in common with professional ballerinas. I am an aficionado of Ballet but it is a hobby. I watch, study and practice the dance on a regular basis. The more I dive into this, the more I can draw parallel with my daily work.

Have you ever wondered how come all those dancers move as if they can defy gravity and look so effortless on stage? How can ballerinas not only stand on their tip toes, but actually dance in point shoes supporting their entire body weight? Those who could make it to the top to become the prima ballerinas, usually come with a strict and rather “painful” regime since a young age.
During my sweaty and challenging times in dance studios my mind drifts and I begin to think of ballet as a kind of work. I find that successful people and ballerinas usually have these common traits:

When you started out in your career, you were schooled to establish a daily routine, in sales that often was: set the direction of your day with a plan and then put the plan into action. You set number of calls that need to be made today, you follow up on the commitments from yesterday and you repeat the same routine until it becomes second nature Started as young children and were pushed, stretched, and instructed as they built their daily routine of exercise, from tendu, jete, fondu, ronde de jambe, adagio, turns and many more. They repeat the SAME exercise daily, even after they reach the prima ballerina status, looking for that perfect execution Persistence,
You slowly learn your craft and find your own expression that leads you to success. Your prospective customers (may that be internal or external) start noticing your presence. Your work has an audience out there They not only need to execute all these moves, they need to make sense of them, ie take techniques and connect them into a dance. When they are able to do the work and start to interpret dance artistically, they get noticed by teachers, companies, critics, and choreographers Hard-working,
You are close to making a deal, however, things happen and your customer goes with your competitor. It does not stop you going back to the routine and make even more calls, determined to find out the “whys” and you focus even more on how to improve so you are closing more future deals. These lost deals are your most valuable lessons. Just go back to the discipline you developed from your early days Pirouettes (literally it means turns) are usually the most difficult to master (for me at least!), it is the epitome of all correct placements from head to toe, Your teacher demands that you perform double, triple and quadruple pirouettes, and now again. You are meant to be a turning machine! Exceptional dancers know that there is only one way to get it right. The constantly go back to the basic lessons they learned and find their center and practice, practice… Confidence
Do-not-quit attitude
You don’t spend your days “going through the motions” you reflect on your work, what you say, what you do, and are constantly curious about how to succeed. You observe the star performers in you company or you industry, you compare and contrast, and dare to try new things Besides the dance steps a Ballerina need to act well. They learn from the maestros, older generations, and footage from the past, and listening to their inner self, and ultimately, just go for it! The body and mind are constantly fine-tuning to achieve perfection! You make the time to learn each day, you renewing yourself and reflect on what is next.
You open yourself to the possibilities and dare to be seen in the spot light.

During our normal work days we sometimes get lost in the doing and the artistry of our lives. I hope that during your vacation you “Sharpen the saw” (Stephen Covey) and think about your next star “performance”, and perhaps your next “stage”?

Read other articles by Lucy Dunn

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