John O' Gorman

Welcome To The Sales Olympics

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The London Olympics have arrived. There is certain to be lots of blood, sweat and some gold too. But, with markets remaining sluggish, for many sellers re-igniting sales is proving to be a challenge of Olympic proportions.

The Olympic Sales Challenge

As new world records are set in London, we have turned to past and present champions for inspiration in the field of selling and draw some parallels with selling at this time.

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” – Dan Gable

1. Selling, as any competitive sport, requires discipline and stamina, strength and endurance. A lot of hard work and preparation will go into that short moment on the track. Training and preparation is everything.

“An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head.” – Emil Zatopek

2. There will be bruises and the occasional injury along the way. Sometimes, it will seem like you are constantly running up hill, where perseverance rather than skill counts most. Other times you will be on a winning streak – in the zone / the sweet spot and at the top of your game. It can switch between these at any time.

“You can always become better.” – Tiger Woods

3. You will occasionally hit the wall, that may be a lost sale, or worst of all, perhaps, it may be a stalled sale. The ability to motivate yourself to get back on the track is paramount.

“The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it’s the opposition.” – Nick Seitz

4. It is not just about a single race – but an unending series of competitions. That means you cannot rest on your laurels for long, the moment of glory soon fades. After all, you are only as good as your last sale.

“Make sure that team members know they are working with you, not for you.” – John Wooden

5. Winning is everything, even second place is poor consolation. If you are not winning then you are off the team and on the sidelines.

“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

6. Selling is a team sport. Increasingly it is not just one person in the limelight. Every champion owes/shares his/her success with a support team of trainers, coaches and so on. Team based selling requires a combination of skills for each person to successfully pass the baton.

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

7. Selling is not just a long race, but a series of short races one after the other. With increasingly long sales cycles you cannot always see the finishing line.

“A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning.” – Chuck Noll

8. A great coach is a key ingredient of success, someone that can help people to perform at their best. So too is effective team work and an evironment that not only rewards, but celebrates success.

“Success is about having, excellence is about being. Success is about having money and fame, but excellence is being the best you can be.” – Mike Ditka

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” – Vince Lombardi

“Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath.” – Wilt Chamberlain

Quotes from the following sources: 1 and 2

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