What it Takes To Win

On Friday I posted an article to my Blog, based on the Red Sox’ miraculous comeback on Thursday evening against the Rays. My focus in that post was on the reaction of the fans but since I can write a more lengthy article here, I’ll focus on the players – Red Sox – who, during 2004, 2007 and so far this post-season, seem to find a way to win.

What is it about some players, teams, salespeople, and companies that cause them to win while others don’t? I have probably not written about this subject as often as I have written about tactics, strategy and motivation so I’ll give it some attention this week. I’d like to discuss the ten biggest differences between sales winners or over achievers and sales losers or under achievers.

1. Over achievers choose to do the things they don’t want to do. This point was originally made, using slightly different words, back in the 1950’s by Albert Gray. I originally posted about this in January of 2007.

2. Expectations – Over achievers expect to win and under achievers expect to fall short. Expectations are even more important than goals.  While goals provide long-term motivation, expectations set the bar for each and every sales conversation and meeting, as well as for the behaviors we might expect from ourselves, colleagues, prospects and customers.

3. Reaction to Adversity – Nobody is exempted from having to deal with adversity.  The difference is that over achievers see a challenge where under achievers see obstacles.  When it comes to challenges, over achievers embrace, even get excited about them. Under achievers become overwhelmed with challenges, and steer clear of obstacles.

4. Resilience. When over achievers lose a battle (a single conversation in the sales process), they simply strategize as to how their next call will achieve the desired result.  When under achievers lose a battle they often sulk, give up, start from scratch with a new prospect, or worse, do nothing.

5. Emotions.  When over achievers fail to get the desired result they don’t panic, miss a beat or become upset,  Instead, they stay in the moment and simply make their next move.  When under achievers fail to get the desired result they panic, become emotionally involved and lose their objectivity.

6. Strategy – Over achievers have the ability to develop a sound strategy for the accounts they wish to pursue or grow.  Under achievers often fail to spend the time strategizing at all.  A good strategy is required for effective execution and if you don’t have a strategy, execution is a hope, not a reality.

7. Process – Over achievers don’t always consciously follow a process but they have one, even when they’re not aware of it.  Under achievers are often selling by the seat of  their pants and it shows!

8. Tactics – Over achievers have an endless arsenal of tactics (questions, selling points, stories, analogies, examples, etc.) while under achievers often have little more to work with than features and benefits that they regurgitate when they run into trouble.

9. Self-Improvement – Over achievers over achieve because they are relentless in their pursuit of improvement while under achievers don’t see the value of books, videos, webinars, newsletters, blogs, training and coaching.

10. Passion – Over achievers are usually passionate about what they do while under achievers often can’t wait for the day to end.

Go back and rate yourself on a 1-5 scale in all ten categories, using the following scale:

1- Poor
2-Needs Significant Improvement
3-Room for Improvement
4-Needs Fine Tuning
5-No Need for Improvement

How do you rate in these five areas?
Any surprises?
Any lessons?
Any changes going forward?
Tell me about them.