by Leslie Groene
Just having celebrated the 4th of July, I am always struck with the blessings we have here in this country. The choices in professions, lifestyle, free time, religious beliefs, political parties, hobbies, education options and the list goes on! So what does this have to do with sales and business development? Are you utilizing ALL of the options available in your chosen career or company; do you appreciate the freedom you have to choose your specific discipline in your company; are you taking advantage of all the education opportunities to improve your ‘game’ or skill set; do you embrace each day with new resolve and passion to make the day the best it can be?
And as the Olympics approach, we get to see the world’s best athletes compete in 26 sports that include 10,500 competitors from over 200 counties as they strive to be their best for this world wide event. Michael Phelps (who holds the all-time record for the most gold medals) trains for 6-8 hours per day and the average world class athlete trains 23 hours per week.
These may be extreme examples but are you putting in enough work hours and training hours to be a world class sales professional, manager or service provider?
14. Keep a positive mental attitude and remember that your future is based on your performance!
Emphasize the value of staying in a positive mental attitude as much as possible. It would be wonderful if all of us could incorporate this attitude all the time. It does cost us money if we fail to exhibit this approach regularly in our work.
Sports analogies and examples are quite effective in the business world. That’s because the fit is such a precise one. Some like to compare players to all employees and teams to companies like the one you work for or own. Some also compare sports games to the sales results and new accounts that you and your firms acquire. In every game, there is a winner and a loser, and this an immediate outcome.
There’s even a sports analogy for my profession and your managers. They can be compared to teams’ head coaches and assistant coaches. You can see where I’m going with this one. Sports team owners and the owners of the other companies are in a virtually identical position. When a professional sports team wins on a consistent basis, all is good with the world! Players and coaches get bonuses, contract extensions and lots of recognition within the team organization and league. However, if the franchise starts losing, heads will roll! Players get released and the team’s coaches get their walking papers.
In other words, the worlds of both business and sports focus on results. You can expect rewards when you win and unpleasant consequences when you lose.
Speaking of expectations, this leads into another sports metaphor in the business world. A great sports team will develop a positive collective psychology and dynamic. Many of the members of the team expect to win and every additional victory reinforces the team’s collective expectation so that individual players begin to find ways to deliver this outcome when the game is “on the line.”
Being positive is a difficult proposition. Often, we might desire to vent at someone who has just pushed our buttons or done something clearly offensive. However, if we have fully incorporated a positive approach to every aspect of our lives, we won’t allow another’s thoughtless act to interfere with or control our reactions. This involves our shedding of the normal reactive point of view that we see every day while driving or in some other public arena where rudeness is on display.