Are You Just Spinning Plates?

Van Buren Black & White Plate Spinner

Many of you may not be old enough to remember it, but back in the ‘50s and ‘60’s there was always a variety act on television who would “spin plates”. He (or she) would have some long, thin poles and start a regular dinner plate spinning on top of one. Then as he got that one going, he’d start a second and then a third and so on. It was a circus trick and the goal was to see how many plates this person could keep spinning at the same time.

Inevitably the first would start to slow, so he’d rush back over there and give it another good spin and then run to the end of the line and start another. There would be 20 or so plates spinning…some fast, some slow, some wobbling about to fall off.

Is this what you’re doing in your sales life?

Think about it. Are you just spinning plates?

I’ve seen it happen before. We get Prospect A started and then while either waiting for the process to evolve or more likely—unsure of how to continue the process, we get Prospect B started in order to keep ourselves busy and look like we’re doing something.

Now, we’ve got two prospects in “the hopper”, but neither of them are going anywhere…they’re just spinning. We really aren’t sure what to do next, so instead of advancing either of those relationships we start Prospect C and D spinning.

Before long we’re running back to give Prospect A a little help and then rushing back to Prospect D and then getting Prospect E up and running.

All the while we’re selling nothing. We’re not moving the relationships forward. We’re just spinning; going nowhere.

Are you in this viscous cycle?

Well, stop. STOP. Right now. Don’t get another plate spinning until you decide how to and what you’re going to do to move the relationship toward a sale—or at least toward a conclusion in some of your current prospects.

Don’t confuse motion with progress. Being busy never got anyone anywhere. I want you to be productive.

Ask yourself, “Am I just spinning plates?” It’s easy to do. It’s an easy trap to fall into and we can easily convince ourselves that we’re busy; we’ve got a lot of things working; or there’s a lot “in the funnel”.  Well, the problem is they are all in the TOP of the funnel—clogging it up.

Until you can move some of them through the funnel you’re only hurting yourself by adding more to the mix. Slow down. Stop just spinning and start moving forward.