Records reflect that popcorn was introduced by an Indian named Quadequina at the first Thanksgiving in 1632. I knew it wasn’t in the Middle Ages. There were just too many things going on. You never knew when you were going to have to go off to war. It could be any minute.

You see, when you put corn kernels in a pan and put a fire under them, initially, nothing happens. They just sit there. Jiggle them around and still, by all external appearances, they look moribund, dead to the world. We know they aren’t. Inside a reaction is taking place. The heat being applied is having an effect. We keep at it because we know, either through experience or instruction that at some point the temperature of the corn will reach a level that requires it to pop.

As you know, all the corn does not pop at once because there is variability among kernels (some never pop). But once the popping starts, in a very short time frame, you have it…a bowl of popcorn.

In selling, the course of events is almost identical to popping corn. Customers are sitting there waiting to be energized. Great customers are not born, they are created. It is the salesman’s job to apply enough heat to get the process started.

Initially, as Accelerators and Positive Impactors are introduced, it may appear like nothing is happening. There is no evidence the customer is going to open the relationship. In their present state, their value is marginal, but if you can get them to pop, the main feature will be a lot more enjoyable. In selling and popping corn, success is a function of time.

Although the situation looks dormant, growth is occurring. You may have thought those corn kernels didn’t change until the actual pop, but in fact they had. They began to swell right from the start.

Acceleration with another person occurs the same way. Initially the changes are very subtle. He drops you a note. She tells you a joke. You’re invited into the boss’s office. He or she is in no hurry to finish the conversation. He suggests you get a beer. She thanks you for your time. You may not have the order but the direction of the relationship is north. Once you start to see a change, shift into a higher gear. This is not the time to be conservative. You’re making an impact and now is the time to stir things up.