In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and
the start of the NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness), I am going to
leave you with a short post this week. Two things come to mind this morning
that I cannot help but directly relate to sales: luck and expect the
As any ‘A’ level sales person will
testify, no matter how educated you are in sales, your company, the client, or
the competitive landscape, it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of luck on your side
too. I’ve been very blessed over the course of my nearly 25 year career so far
in being in the right place at the right time. I call this luck. I also believe
that I’ve paid my dues, have always taken the high road in sales, and have
always put my client’s best interests before my own, so I’m also a believer that
sometimes luck is on my side. This is also known as being optimistic. Optimism
is a core characteristic of any ‘A’ level sales person. You cannot nor will you
ever be an ‘A’ level sales person without optimism.
With regards to March Madness 2018 all
you have to do is look at any sports or news website, newspaper, or blog over
the past few days to understand that for the first year of many there is no
clear frontrunner or favorite in the tournament this year. In fact, history was
just made by UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County) the 16 seed
knocking off the 1 seed University of Virginia. One headline said it all:
Expect The Unexpected. Well doesn’t that just about sum up anyone in sales.
If I had a dollar for every time this
statement was made to me about sales or for when I’ve said it myself, I’d be
retired by now living on yacht. Expect the unexpected is the most important
statement anyone can say about a career in sales. You must be mentally strong
and prepared for whatever comes your way. Just like the number 16 seed beat the
number 1 seed, there are so many stories told about the “sure thing” sale
fizzling out at the last moment only to be given to the competition.
My former CFO and I used to preach to
all employees, not just sales people, that the deal isn’t done with the
signature, it’s done when the money clears the bank. I’ve had signed agreements
come my way only to be pulled off the table due to funding issues a week later.
I’ve been given the verbal approval to never get the formal agreement signed. I’ve
been told yes directly to my face to find out the next day the deal was inked
with the competitor down the street. Expecting the unexpected is a sign of resilience.
Being resilient is another
characteristic of an ‘A’ level sales person. Nothing is a sure thing and how
you manage your emotions, being resilient, will pay dividends. Your prospects
and clients will look at this resilience as a strength and they’ll want to do
business with you more so because of it.