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Oct 12-25, 1998

Lombardi Time

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

The great Hall of Fame football coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi, invented a strategy that he recommended to his coaches and players. It came to be known as "Lombardi Time," and it embodied a valuable habit that is even more appropriate to salespeople than it was to football players.

Lombard Time states "Show up for every important business meeting 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled meeting time." The idea is to use the 15 minutes to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and preplan what you want to accomplish in the meeting and how you'll go about it.

I've practiced Lombardi Time off and on during my career and have found it to be not only valuable for planning purposes, but a wonderful source of humor and character reading. It turns out you can find out a great deal about people by watching them arrive at a meeting.

If you look closely, you'll observe that people arrive at meetings the way they sell and the way they lead their lives. But, you'll only be able to tell, if you're on Lombardi Time yourself.

Gotta go now. I've got an important meeting in 20 minutes.


Reader Response
  • posted by Kare Anderson, 12-Oct-1998,

    As usual, your tips are pithy, ethical and timeless. Re Lombardi Time, it is akin to the person who incorporates into his job interviews the request that the prospective hiree drive them somewhere. Again, you can see how a person manages his time (is he/she a courteous, alert driver?), his major property (is the car clean and well-maintained?), and values (what kind of car does she/he choose as an extension of self-image?).

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Sales Tip and Practice
Before every important meeting, establish a primary objective and a secondary objective. A primary objective is the number one thing that you want to accomplish during that meeting or sales call. The secondary objective is what you'll settle for if you can't accomplish your primary.

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