Winning is a Habit

Winning. Just saying the word makes me smile. Being in sales is fun because we get to win. I’m not just talking about closing the most deals or winning the monthly leaderboard; I’m talking about winning with a client too.

Runner feet running on road closeup on shoe - Winning is a habit

Every time a prospect picks up the phone—you win! Every time you set an appointment—you win! And of course, every time you close a deal —you win!

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Just like in sports, being in sales also means you have to keep your head in the game. Now, I’m not a football fan (I know, I know. I can hear all of your groans from here), but there’s a great essay by Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi called “What it Takes to be Number One”, that has really motivated me to win in sales (and in life). I highly suggest you take a couple of minutes and read the whole thing, but my favorite part is the very first paragraph:

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

If you want to win in sales, you have to conquer a lot every day. Every one of these little victories needs to be part of your daily habits. Maybe it starts with conquering your alarm clock (what Steven Covey calls “mind over mattress”). Then you have to conquer some kind of exercise, so you are in peak condition to focus. Next comes getting to the office with a positive attitude, and finally: it’s time to sell!

Don’t get me wrong; I never create an adversarial relationship with a client. Ultimately, you win by meeting their needs; by serving them well. But the harsh reality is the prospecting part of sales can be a battle. Just getting your foot in the door, getting them to hear what you have to say – just getting a chance. And to really succeed in sales, you have to have the mindset to not only endure the battle but to thrive on it; to enjoy it. Like coach Lombardi said, you have to “play with your heart, with every fiber of your body.”

Eat No’s for Breakfast!

Years ago, a partner told me that he eats “no’s” for breakfast. He knows sales is a numbers game, so every time he gets a no, he’s just one step closer to a yes. So the very next morning, I decided to embrace that attitude, to start eating “no’s” for breakfast, too—and guess what? My call reluctance went way down (yes, it’s true—I also suffer from call reluctance from time to time, but as long as I have a solid list of people to call, all I have to do is make that first dial and the call reluctance fades away)!

So you have to build these winning habits into all of your daily activities. Back to Lombardi:

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

When you make winning (or losing) a habit, your business will change with it (for better or worse). Don’t get caught in the excuses of your day—conquer them. Crush them. Winning is a habit, so make it your habit—every day—and you will see the results in your sales.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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