Time & Temperature

I finally gave up drinking coffee. I can’t say I really miss the gurgling in my stomach, the jitters in my voice, or the extra calories in the cream and sugar. I don’t even pine for the acidity left over in my throat.

I traded in my coffee cup for the mystical elixir of loose leaf tea, and that has made all the difference. I figure the Chinese (and other cultures) have been enjoying different teas for more than 5,000 years, there has to be some kind of magic in those leaves. And, it comes in so many different types and flavors.

There are white teas and black teas. There are green and red teas. Flavored and scented, oolong, mate, and herbal. And, it is prepared using a variety of techniques: withering, steaming, rolling, shaking, pan frying, fermented, firing, and drying. I’m convinced there has to be a way I can healthfully benefit from this all natural, calorie-free, fat-free, delicious beverage with little to no caffeine.

Since I’ve made the trade, I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur. I’ve come to realize the mystical elixir comes with a simple formula; the brewing process is all about time and temperature. There are basically three temperatures at which to brew tea: 208, 195, and 175 degrees. The high numbers are for herbals, rooibos (red), and black teas. The low numbers are for the green and the white teas. It really does make a difference to the level of enjoyment.

The teas brewed at 208 degrees are steeped/infused for 5-6 minutes. Those brewed at 195 are infused for 3 minutes; those at 175 degrees for just 1-2 minutes. Each has its own range of flavor and level of health benefits. 

I never knew that when you strictly follow the time and temperature brewing process, you never need to add cream and sugar. That’s why they don’t offer cream and sugar for the tea with your fried rice in Chinese restaurants; they only serve tea that’s been brewed properly.

Sales pipelines work the same way. While most managers drive sales people to ‘make their numbers’ every month and quarter as measured by the selling cycle, little to no attention is paid to the buying cycle of the prospect. I’ve always said that every sales opportunity has its own personality, separate and distinct from quota deadlines. And, that’s because the buying cycle makes up fully one-half of every sold opportunity. It’s the prospect’s need that your widget is addressing. It’s their money. There’s only one decision maker who ultimately signs the check, and they do that on their own timetable. The deal isn’t really closed until their check clears your bank.

When you don’t brew your tea for the right amount of time or at the right temperature, it will be bitter and in need of cream and sugar. The same thing happens to sale quality when strong pushes are made at the end of the month and quarter; discounts are given that curb profits. Kind of like the acidity left in the throat from coffee.

It’s a simple formula to enjoying great tea: time and temperature according to type. It’s a simple formula to closing sales: align selling cycles to buying cycles while matching needs to solutions. High performing sales people with the healthiest pipelines consistently have multiple opportunities at every sales stage that close at the intersection of the buying and the selling cycles.

Simple formulas: better tasting teas, stronger profits.

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