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Pending Business: The Water Bottle

| June 21, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Every few years I would do the “Water Bottle” sales meeting.

Maybe you are at a point in your sales career where you feel you’ve mastered the fundamentals. Revenue goals are within striking distance, planning and organization are fluid, product knowledge is clear as a bell, collections are solid, talent relationships are positive, new business calls are opening up, you understand your competition, and finally you’re getting the swing of digital and social media. You have learned the culture of your team and managing up is no longer a daunting task.

You feel like the second half of 2021 will be a walk in the park compared to the COVID numbers of 2020. Experienced sellers often reach a point where autopilot kicks in and personal improvement stops. How does a top biller improve when #1 is as good as it gets?

If you’ve checked all the boxes, then you may need a meeting with bottled water.

The bottled water meeting is a great metaphor for where you may be stuck.

Grab a fresh, unopened bottle of your favorite brand of bottled water and a separate glass of water. Place the unopened bottled water in a bowl. The bottled water represents YOU. The separate glass of water represents more knowledge. Open the bottled water. Take your glass of water and try and pour some water into the newly opened bottle of water. Chances are there is just no more room in the bottle and the water from the glass is spilling into the bowl. The bottle of water is so full there is just no more room for any new water.

Get the metaphor?

Are you so full there’s no room for improvement? Some of my sellers were top earners in our markets, often out-earning competitive managers. Metaphors like the bottled water meeting help us see things in a non-confrontational way.

Here are some tips that may help you reach the next level:

  • Never stop learning. There is always room for something new in selling that will help you improve your skills.
  • Nobody bats 1000. So always reset your goals.
  • Radio sales dynamics are changing. Stay ahead of the curve by connecting into where your advertisers are going. Ask more questions than ever.

Next time you’re thirsty, hopefully that bottled water will remind you to leave a little room for improvement.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy.  Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

Category: Sales