In Go-Givers Sell More, we talk about something we call left field, that mysterious and omnipotently benign place from which unanticipated rewards so often flow. Here’s how we put it in the book:
When we’re living a life of generosity, all sorts of value showers down upon us from that unnoticed, unseen place. We find a critical lead or make a crucial connection; a golden opportunity drops unexpectedly into our lap; we have some incalculably valuable thing come to us, not from the people or the places we were perhaps expecting or hoping for it to come from, but from out of left field.
We didn’t call it this in the book, but you could call this the Law of Left Field.
Standing in the crowded elevator about to head up. Doors closing. I hear squeaky wheels rolling quickly toward us so I stick my hand out to stop the doors from closing. It’s someone on the janitorial staff with a mop bucket full of water. He’s clearly relieved that he caught the elevator and I get a quiet “thanks” as the doors close and three people behind me let out their “give me a break” sighs.
Ten floors later it’s just me and the janitor. He pulls the stop button, thanks me for my kindness and says, “I don’t recognize you. Where are you heading?”
I tell him I have a sales appointment with Joe Jones on 12. He nods thoughtfully, then says:
“Joe is tough, but he’s fair. At some point early on he’ll challenge you to see whether you’re willing to stand up for what you believe. I can’t promise you’ll close a sale, but if you don’t back down, you’ll earn a friend.”
Joe Jones challenged me. I stood my ground. I left with a great sale in my pocket and a line of referrals that lasts me to this very day.
Never saw the janitor again.