The outcome of your sales career (and your future) is entirely up to you. That is one of the beautiful things about sales. Your hands are on the controls. Your future, for the most part, lies entirely within your power. You set the pace. You plan your day. You make the calls. You take the credit. You take the hits.
Take responsibility for your success and failures. No excuses.
I’d like to share a story with you that made a huge impact on the way I run my life. It comes with a pretty clear lesson. A few years back at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Italian skier Alberto Tomba (the reigning downhill skiing superstar, at the time) was expected to take the Gold hands down. His individual style was to pull out all the stops, and simply ski like a crazy man possessed. Tomba just “went for it.”
But he didn’t make the Medal Stand in Nagano. He didn’t even make it down the mountain. When asked by a commentator what happened, the interview was short, sweet, and to the point with no excuses offered. He didn’t blame it on the ice, the snow, the wind, the starter, his skis or the breakfast he had. He simply replied, “I fell.”
He didn’t win the Gold Medal, but I remember Tomba’s reply and nothing about the guy who actually placed first.
Too Little Competitive Spirit
Try to follow my line of thought here. If we were to play tennis and just before you positioned yourself for blasting your first serve I declared you the winner, you would feel somewhat, unfulfilled. What fun is winning if you don’t actually…win? Likewise, if we were going to play golf, and I declared you the winner on the practice putting green, I don’t think you’d cherish the victory.
Then why ask if sales people want to accept victory before they have had the chance to earn it? Competition is what makes “the game” worth playing.
I am reminded of another interview. This one was between Howard Cosell (the lawyer turned commentator) and Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder (the famous Las Vegas odds maker). Howard asked Jimmy what he enjoyed best in life. Jimmy quickly responded, “Howard, I like to win.” When Howard followed with what “the Greek” liked second best, Jimmy responded just as quickly with “Howard, that’s an easy one. I like to lose.”
Here was a man who took pleasure in playing the game…who enjoyed the action… who was a true competitor. Win or lose, it was the competition that brought Jimmy to the game.
Here’s the winning competitive mentality for you to cultivate. Know the rules of the game. Know that you honestly can’t win them all, but learn to enjoy the process of selling. This will ensure a healthy competitive spirit, resulting in your fair share of wins as your career unfolds.