St Patrick’s Day – Seven Lessons about Sales

Happy St Patrick’s Day!  Yes, that’s right – it’s the day that around 20 per cent of New Zealanders celebrate being Irish.  For Saint Patrick’s Day last year, I posted on LinkedIn about Celebrating the Irish in IT.

This year, I thought I’d recount one of the stories of Saint Patrick, and extrapolate on Seven Things that Saint Patrick can teach us about Sales.

The story goes that Saint Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill (Croagh Patrick – known as Ireland’s holy mountain).  Saint Patrick chased the snakes into the sea, banishing them from Ireland.

  • If you’ve got a big goal – make sure you’ve got a strategy  Saint Patrick was undertaking a 40-day fast before starting his evangelisation road-trip around Ireland.  This was a big part of his preparation for such a big undertaking.
  • Don’t be afraid of opposition  Saint Patrick chased the snakes and banished them.  You might just be stronger than you think.
  • Outsmart the competition  I bet the snakes got a big surprise when Saint Patrick chased them into the sea.  What can you do today to leapfrog over your competition?
  • Be prepared  The traditional pilgrims who climb Croagh Patrick sometimes do this barefoot.  If you’re under-resourced, be as strong and healthy as you can, prepared for anything.  This especially applies if you’re part of a start-up company.
  • Keep your goals firmly in sight  After chasing the snakes into the sea, Saint Patrick got back on track and went around Ireland.  Don’t let problems distract you from your vision.
  • Persevere  Just because the journey gets hard doesn’t mean we should turn back.  Yes, in Agile times, we should continually evaluate whether we’re on the right track and whether we need to pivot to achieve our goals.  However, once you know that you’re doing the right thing, keep taking those little steps and you’ll climb a mountain before you know it.
  • Celebrate  That’s right – enjoy the view from the top of the mountain!  Enjoy your sales victories!

So – Cheers to you all on St Patrick’s Day!
As they say in Ireland – Slainte!