If It’s Steroids, It’s Time to Talk

Published on December 2, 2004

You know the old saying, “Timing is everything in life”. The same holds true for sales and negotiations. Major League Baseball has been trying for years to get the players union to agree to a credible drug testing plan. Time and time again the union has stalled and only agreed to a watered down version that was basically considered a joke by many experts.

Now, after the San Francisco Chronicle publishes an article leaking the Grand Jury testimony of Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, the players union is rushing to approve a more stringent drug testing plan. Why the sudden rush to an agreement? Because legislators like John McCain are promising swift congressional action, as early as January, if Baseball fails to do something. In the words of Donald Fehr, the Executive Director of the player’s union, he does not see this taking more than a week to get done.

A week? Very interesting. Now, I am not writing this to state a position on steroids, although I would have to admit that any records broken these days will be looked upon with suspicion by yours truly. The point of this story is that timing dictates when deals will be made.

Everyone’s timing is different. If the time is not right, it will be very hard to move a customer to commit to any deal. In some instances, you do have the power to impact a customer’s timing if you can identify critical needs that have to be resolved sooner than later. Then you must get the customer to agree with your supposition that they would be worse off waiting than going ahead with the deal.

Remember, whenever you talk with a client, always check on their timing. This will enable you to spend your time more effectively

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