April 17, 2024
OOH Sales Blog

Natural Talent is Irrelevant to Great Success

“If you want to do something, you find a way.  If you don’t want to do something, you find an excuse.” – Dawn Bauer

The secret to “finding a way”? Painful/Demanding practice and hard work.  As OOH sales professionals we should all be regularly committed to finding new business.
However, most don’t for basically one of 3 reasons (or maybe a little of all 3)!

1. Fear of rejection
2. Fear of failure
3. Parkinson’s Law-which states that any project/activity will always take exactly the amount of time allotted to it.  

In other words, most people think “I know what I should be doing but I have to do all these things-when I finish all these things I will spend more time prospecting”.

News Flash!  You will never get done or caught up.  Prospecting is the lifeblood of OOH sales.  You must focus on prospecting first-as a priority…a daily calendar invite that you must accept if you are to be successful in OOH sales.  Put prospecting activities on your calendar-keep that appointment daily!

In a Fortune magazine article “What it Takes to be Great” Warren Buffett said “I was wired at birth to allocate capital”- it’s a one in million thing, you got it or you don’t.  I think what Warren Buffett really meant was that from a very early age he found he was naturally fascinated with investing.

You are not born CEO or investor, successful OOH salesperson or anything, you achieve greatness through enormous hard work-a very particular type of hard work that’s very demanding and sometimes painful.  Buffett is famed for his discipline and hours spent studying financial statements of potential investments.  He quite literally spends his entire days researching and reading the data and analytics of companies he is exploring investing in.

The good news is a lack of a natural gift is irrelevant.  Talent has little or nothing to do with greatness.  Oh, it’s a good place to start from for sure, but it won’t get you across the finish line to greatness. Scientific evidence consistently finds that talent doesn’t mean intelligence, motivation, personality traits or even an innate ability to do some specific activity especially well.

First major conclusion: Nobody is great without work, without discipline. There is no evidence of high-level performance  from anyone without practice/discipline/experience. Greatness is not handed to anyone.  It requires hard work. Yet many people work hard for decades without greatness. What’s the missing ingredient?

“Deliberate practice” Activity that is explicitly intended to improve performance-should provide feedback and involve high levels of repetition.
For example: Hitting a bucket of golf balls is not deliberate practice.

Hitting an 8-iron 300 times trying to leave the ball within 20 feet of the pin while continually observing results, adjusting technique, continuing hitting balls at the target. Do that for 4 hours-Now that’s deliberate practice.

There was a study of 20-year-old violinists…the best group judged by conservatory teachers.   The best of the best averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in their life…some of the rest averaged 7,500 hours, others averaged 5,000 hours of deliberate practice.

Conclusive result of the study shows:  More deliberate practice=better performance.

Winston Churchill-one of 20th century’s great orators practiced his speeches compulsively.

Michael Jordan is legendary for brutal discipline of his intense practice sessions. He was cut from high school basketball team- you think he had natural talent?

Jerry Rice-passed up by 15 NFL teams-too slow.  He practiced so hard others would get sick trying to keep up.

We’ve spent a lot of time in our OOH Sales Mastery classes that last few weeks focusing on the deliberate practice of overcoming the most common objections we hear in OOH.  It’s fascinating to realize that just knowing how you’re going to handle those objections, and having deliberate practice to be comfortable with them emboldens us to have the confidence we need to succeed in the field.  

Will you choose to “find a way” to pay the price to achieve OOH sales greatness? I will leave you with one more quote to help you face reality, “You can have excuses, or you can have success; you can’t have both”.  What’s your choice?

Need help with sales skills or coaching to take your out of home company to the next level.  Learn more about OOH Sales Mastery at  or Contact Dan Nausley at, 423.702.5579.  

Lisa & Dan Nausley and Reggie Piercy of Sandler Chattanooga have developed the OOH Sales Mastery Program after more than a decade of training/coaching thousands of OOH Operators across the country in sales, leadership, and executive coaching.

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