I watched my hapless cat trying to hunt birds the other day. She didn’t feel like running or jumping, so she sat behind a tree. At the fountain in my yard, a dozen birds gathered to chat and have a few sips of water. Every once in a while, the cat would peer out to see if a bird might be foolishly strolling by.

Needless to say, the birds wisely avoided the tree, and the cat eventually fell asleep.

The same scenario plays out millions of times each day in sales organizations across the country. Sales people engage in similar types of magical thinking – hoping that a prospect will call, or email, or perhaps drop in on the office and ask for a contract.

It’s true that every once in a while, a contract will walk in your door. Just like every once in a while the slot machine will dump a bunch of quarters in the tray. But in almost every case, you’ll run out of quarters before your tray overflows.

In sales, consistency and systems are essential. You need to know who you have to contact in your target organizations. You need to know how many calls, emails, letters, and smoke signals you have to send out each day.

You don’t necessarily have to work like a lunatic – but you do have to reliably perform those basic tasks each day.

Then it just comes down to being truthful, empathetic, and motivated to help your clients.