Sales As A Contact Sport (SaaCS)

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." -Henry Sanders & Vince Lombardi

Do you have “Game”?

Do you have “Game”?

I read a great article this weekend about an exceptional high school athlete who’s work ethic and accomplishments are nothing less than inspirational. He’s a wrestler based on Long Island who is 44-0 this season and has 223 wins over his career so far.  These are very impressive statistics and his achievements are exceptional. Clearly, he did not wake one morning and become successful. He has consistently worked hard and smart to achieve his success and has persevered against many obstacles to achieve his goals. Napoleon Hill has called this a “Definiteness of Purpose”.

Here’s what the wrestler was quoted as saying in response to questions about his upcoming competition for the state championship as the top seed.

There are no guarantees, that’s why I wrestle every match like it’s my last“.

He also was quoted as saying, “No one is a lock to win. You have to go out hard and give it everything you have“.

This is what I am writing about. If you are going to be successful in work and in life, find a way to do whatever you do with a sense of purpose and passion and you have a chance to achieve your goals. The extent of your success has a lot to do with your preparation, work ethic, focus, tenacity and a written plan of action.

In the world of Sales, our Game Plan is also a written plan of action, which is very much like a Play Book,  with specific and deliberate action steps designed to act as a guideline or template for success. A ‘definiteness of purpose’ and a ‘written plan of action’ are the most basic requirements needed to achieve your goals.  Read that Action Plan every day, take action and stay on course, regardless of any obstacles you encounter.

Athletes often talk about how they never alter their game plan. EVER. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is or where the game is being played. One of the keys to success is remaining consistent, yet knowing how to adapt to different circumstances.

So, find out what you are passionate about and do everything you can to become the very best you can.

And, approach each battle as if it’s your last and begin living your life to the fullest.

Mike North

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“Everything is hard before it’s easy”…

There’s a rhythm to this statement which I find to be very profound and simple to digest. The statement or concept, “Everything is hard before it’s easy”,  is applicable to most everything in life that’s new to us whether we are learning to walk, communicate, find our way or even prospecting to find a new client. If we choose to accept this concept as a necessary part of our personal development, we can learn to embrace failure with positive expectations and excitement, knowing that it will ultimately lead us to experience successful outcomes.

Everything is hard before it’s easy.” – Thomas Fuller.

You may agree that most infants learn to walk with just a little encouragement and positive reinforcement, (i.e., great job, you can do it and so on). And, we can surely agree that there’s usually little or no stress experienced by infants while they’re crawling simply because it is much easier and safer for them. And, infants usually press on, trying to walk, despite awkward trials, off balance attempts and the pain experienced with these challenging events. Their instinct generally takes over and, since they haven’t received much negative enforcement during these early stages of life, they usually can bounce back quickly after falling down and adapt well to changes in their environment.

He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.” – Smiles

As children enter into a formal learning environment, (i.e, nursery school and grade school), new challenges appear more rapidly and feedback from school teachers and peers add a whole new dimension to their personal development and self image. Positive and negative feedback become a daily reality throughout these formative years. When we experience any level of failure, pain or disappointment, such as failing a test, losing a game or being given any type of negative feedback, we tend to get down on ourselves, too. However, this is the opposite reaction about how to respond to any negative experience. Instead, we must embrace the negative experiences as opportunities to learn and to grow. And, clearly, we will learn from our mistakes and failures despite our fears, obstacles or lack of ability.

It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you, that makes the difference.” – Albert Ellis

Why are infants and children naturally able to respond to failure by brushing off the dirt and jumping back in without much fanfare? Some experts claim that encouragement from family, environmental conditions, natural instincts, self will and feedback from outside influences that all have a part in the development of our own ‘screen plays of life’.

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. – Vince Lombardi

Why do some adults learn to excel or develop skills more quickly than others?

How does this question relate to the art of developing techniques and skills to be successful a sales or business development career?

I believe that the common denominator is determination and will.

The glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fail.” – Chinese Proverb

This is simple and very true. When you break it down and recognize that failure is a necessary means to achieving your goals, you can begin planning your work and focusing your attention to work your plan with a new found confidence to forge ahead and build momentum. Momentum becomes a critical key to building more confidence to persevere and the ‘will to succeed’ is the main ingredient required to push ahead and achieve results.

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination. – Tommy Lasorda

Since life is full of obstacles and hurtles to overcome, it makes sense to embrace failure as a partner to enable our success. Once we accept this as our “global belief”, we are halfway there. The rest can certainly be learned…

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. – Vincent T. Lombardi

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Planning your Work and Working your Plan

Setting a goal and writing it down is the first step towards achieving your goal(s).  However,  setting a goal without establishing a game plan,  is nothing more than words on paper.

“Without a road map, how can anyone expect to reach their destination?” – mn

You must take deliberate and planned action steps every day towards achieving your goal(s) in order to reach them.

“The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move.” – John Wooden

Sometimes there will be road blocks along your current route, which are only temporary, and may require you to shift gears and take a different route.

Your ability to adjust to those obstacles along the way and your ability to remain focused on working your plan, will determine whether or not you will achieve your goal(s).

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”  -Tom Landry

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Are you a Lion or a Gazelle?

Lion vs. Gazelle …

Every morning in Africa, A gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must out run the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It does not matter whether you are a lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better start running.  – Jim Rea

Food For Thought…

The question I posed, “Are you a Lion or a Gazelle?”, opens the door for self analysis and should be on your mind when planning your day.

In other words; “Do you move towards achieving your goal(s) with a written, well thought out plan in mind” or “are you moving away from your fears of failure by allowing your day to just happen”?

The moral is simple…
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle because when the sun comes up, you had better be running…

…which means that if you don’t start your day early and get a jump on things,  someone else may gobble up your opportunities because you were either too slow to begin and/or unprepared to compete at the highest level.

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