The Advantage Letter by Dave Martin
The Advantage Letter is brought to you by:
  FSI SeeEverything  
Dave Martin Keynote Speaker
Bring Dave Martin To Your Next Event
Dave Martin Podcaster
Bring Dave's Podcast To Your Team Each Month
Friday, January 15, 2016
Volume 21 | # 496
View Archive

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. » Dalai Lama

Strong Ankles

There are few things that more make me feel like an old guy (in a fun way) than coaching and hanging around my teenage sons’ basketball teams.  During a break a few weeks ago, I kidded about the fact that, back in my day, long-range shooters were cheated.  We didn’t have a three-point line.

One of the boys joked, “Coach, you must have played against those guys in ‘Hoosiers.’”  When I told them that I had a pair of leather high-top Nikes (white on white) before anyone knew who Michael Jordan was, you would have sworn I told them I was on the Apollo 11 crew that walked on the moon.

That’s a bad example.  They don’t know Apollo 11.  
But they all still want to be like Mike.
I found myself giving them a mini-speech recently that had me reflecting on talks I regularly have with folks closer to my age.  I told them that they were too afraid of looking bad or getting beat.
Specifically, many of them appear afraid to get up close and pressure good ball-handlers.  “Getting your ankles broken” (a ball handler making you stumble or fall) has become something these guys fear more than giving up easy shots or passes.  
I blame YouTube for this.  I blame YouTube for a lot of things, actually.  But that’s another story.
Whenever someone gets his “ankles broken”, half of the guys on the court yell, “Ohhhhhh!”  I stopped play once to ask them if they realized that you didn’t get points for that.  
I told them that I would never take a guy out of the game for stumbling or falling down when going after the ball.  Heck, that tells me that he’s actually giving effort.  
I stressed that when you start attacking the guy instead of sitting on your heels you make him worry about you instead of the other way around.  In fact, you are less likely to stumble when you go right at him than when you wait for him to come at you.
I almost always immediately see improved effort and better results after telling guys that it’s okay to get beat.
That doesn’t mean being sloppy or reckless and constantly putting your team at a disadvantage.  But good things happen for our teams when we stop playing scared to fail.
That same advice is pretty relevant to all of us.  The more folks you ask for business, the more “No thanks” you’ll hear.  
But it’s the folks who aren’t afraid of the occasional setback that end up making the big plays for themselves and their teams.

Warranted Results

I made a purchase last week of something I planned on buying (a laptop) and an item I’ve sworn in the past I never would again (an extended warranty).  

But the salesman I interacted with was so diligent and polite, I ended up saying “Yes” to the sworn off product…and felt pretty good about it.

The running joke in my house is that we know when we’ll have to replace major appliances.  It’s going to be within 1 week and 6 months after whatever warranty we purchased ends.

I searched online and found a nearby store offering a sale on a laptop I was interested in.  When I walked into that large electronics store to check it out, I saw five employees in shirts and ties standing in the computer area.  
No one acknowledged me.
I began looking up and down the aisles to find the laptop I was interested in, and still, those guys were immersed in conversations with each other.  A few seconds later, an employee walked over from another department.
When he asked if he could help me and I said, “Yes, you can”, I noticed a couple of the employees from the herd a few feet over begin to walk toward us.  One said, “You got this one?”
I wondered if they learn in training to refer to customers as “this one.”  
The gentleman who walked over to help me spoke in pretty broken English, and our communications were a bit choppy.  But he was informed and helpful.  
After I told him I’d take the laptop, he heartily suggested an extended warranty.  Normally, I just glaze over and ignore the spiel.
But his demeanor and politeness got me actually discussing the cost vs benefits of an extended warranty.
 And when he dug around for a minute or so to find a coupon to reduce the price of one (whether that was legitimate or a good show), the new price actually seemed like a fair deal.
I can’t honestly say that my overall opinion on extended warranties has changed.  But in this instance, an engaged and helpful employee made his offer feel like a smart deal for me.
Cross-sales aren’t “made”.  They’re earned.  
We earn them by handling what a customer came to us for in an impressive manner and then respectfully asking folks to consider additional things.  
Strive to earn your own cross-sales opportunities this week.

Mistakes are the portals of discovery. » James Joyce

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of any affiliated entities or sponsors.
The Advantage Letter is brought to you by:
FSI logo
The financial services industry leader in In-store, Storefront, and On-site Branches.
Dave Martin

The Author

Dave Martin has become one of the most prolific writers in the banking industry. His columns and newsletters are read in thousands of financial institutions each month. His keynote presentations, seminars, and podcasts have an authenticity and humor that brings teams of all sizes and seniority levels together.

You can learn more about Dave Martin at

Dave Martin - promo Dave Martin - promo Dave Martin - promo

The Advantage Letter by Dave Martin

© 2024 Dave Martin. All rights reserved. P.O. Box 1572, Sugar Land, TX 77487-1572


Good people win.™