Sailors of old superstitiously believed that if they tattooed a rooster on the bottom of one foot and a pig on the other they wouldn’t drown. However, triangulation, the process of navigation by using three or more stars as data points, saved far more lives than any tattoo.
Triangulation allows you to identify your location by using three pieces of information. If you are sailing across the ocean, you can calculate your latitude and longitude by forming an imaginary triangle with certain stars. Sailors continuously take readings from different stars to ensure their position is accurate.
In sales, we do the same, with the stars different sources of information from different people within the account we are trying to close. Heavy Hitter salespeople are constantly trying to triangulate their position by answering these questions: Is there a deal? Am I winning? Who do I have to watch out for, and what can ruin this deal?
You should think of triangulation is as the “rule of three.” When you’re working a hot deal, you would like important information validated independently by three different sources. When strategizing about a deal, three minds are better than one. When cold-calling an unfamiliar company, make a new rule whereby it takes three “not interested” from three different people within the company before you cross the company’s name off your prospect list. You want three independent points of validation to ensure you know the truth.