Dwelling in the adrenaline rush of a win, blunts your winning edge.
From spectacular success to spectacular failure. This surmises the complete swing of the pendulum that is Germany’s dismal performance at the on-going World Cup. Fellow columnist Sunny Bindra captioned it neatly in his tweet: “If you’d told anyone before #WorldCup2018 began that champions Germany would not only get knocked out in the first stage but also finish bottom of their group, you’d probably have been given injections to calm you down.”
The depressing performance is reflective of the stellar seller who dwells in that adrenaline rush of winning, stopping to admire the view from on high, basking in the attention and glory of arriving; totally oblivious to the fact that, “Sales success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your position and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing.” (paraphrased from the book, Only the Paranoid Survive). Many sellers who get to the top position in their company or industry end up becoming a flash in the pan. And it’s not just that the other ambitious contenders relentlessly strive for a view of the scenery from that vantage point. No. That’s the weaker half of the story. The formidable half is that the champion forgets that in that instant of winning he automatically becomes the defending champion. He must both defend and attack. The other contenders need only largely attack. So don’t stop to bask in the win-pause fleetingly instead.
Dwelling in the adrenaline rush of a win, blunts your winning edge. Like any edge it needs continual sharpening. In selling, that means the repeated actions of prospecting (finding people to buy your product); interviewing (finding out how your product will help solve their problem); demonstrating (showing them how it will); validating (convincingly responding to queries about it); negotiating (coming to terms); asking for referrals (other prospects); and closing (getting commitment). That you are sales champion doesn’t make you immune from undertaking these very activities that got you the win. If anything, it calls for you to double your efforts-remember you are attacking and defending. Winning in selling is not a destination it’s a journey. You’ve heard it said before-you are only as good as your last sale.
But repeated actions are monotonous; and basics are boring. And yet, anyone who’s mastered a craft and slackened in it will admit that they simply drifted from the basics. Whether it’s a fulfilling relationship, riding a bicycle, driving a car, playing the guitar, enviable footwork or stellar selling- religiously iterating the very boring, monotonous actions that got you to the peak is what will keep you there. Once you start drifting away from any of them, you will slowly but surely be carried away by the waves of mediocrity into the sea of one hit wonders. Like Germany (this year). And, France (in 2002). And, Italy (in 2010). And, Spain (in 2014). And,…you?
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