The Olympics are like Sales
I don’t know about you, but I loved the 2018 Winter Olympics! It is a perfect analogy for success in the sales profession. Each Olympic athlete understands the psychology of success. They first envision success. They practice continually, making even small changes, and never stop striving to be better. They not only live within a stressful competitive environment but excel in it. This could be you excelling in Sales. There are several traits and qualities that you can commit to and develop right now that will lead to significant results and rewards.
There are three essentials to elite athletic importance which translate directly to elite status within a sales occupation.
- Mental Toughness
- Positive Attitude
You will need to have these internal drivers to develop each of the essentials above. You can develop each of these critical components if you do the following:
Create and commit to BIG personal goals. How can you exceed your assigned sales targets? Review your compensation plan. How can you maximize your income and have your best year ever? What are the key activities and metrics that you need to accomplish daily, weekly, and monthly?
If you focus on the small numbers, the big numbers take care of themselves. You are given the gift of time and resources to invest in your goals, leveraging them against a BIG goal will ensure that you receive a significant return on your investment.
There will be challenges and there will be disappointments—that is just a part of life. View them as readying you for competition, so you will be more agile and strong next time. No one that truly seeks excellence has an easy path. Adversity is part of the journey. Treat them as teaching aids that contain a lesson. The more obstacles you face, the stronger you become.
It’s all about you
Success is a personal experience. Do not be dragged down by others! Do not be distracted by events or situations that are not helping you to achieve your goals. You have to be selfish. This means saying “no” where appropriate. If it does not help you move forward, it is either slowing you down or is making you move backwards.
Reflect on Sales Performance
Mentally review each day, week, or month, and think about what you could have done better. Where did you make a mistake? What things did you do well? Reflection is a means of consciously and intentionally parsing through performance to “see” the path towards improvement.
Mentally “replay” your sales call, your presentation, or your proposal. We all can get better and that does not mean we are bad. It means we are striving to be the best we can be! Every Olympic athlete replays their athletic performance to see where they made mistakes and how they could have performed at a higher level. Be an Olympic sales professional!
Shut Down Negative Thoughts
Unfortunately, many of us fall victim to fear and doubt. We are our own worst enemy. Stop!
Every elite athlete and sales professional “turns off” the negative internal chatter in their head. If you hear it, tell it to shut up and replace it with a more positive mental talk track. Positivity breeds positive results many times more often than negative results. Let the positive become your self-fulfilling prophecy.
Enlist your sales leader to help you attain your goals. Leverage them by involving them in your success. Being coachable means that you have to seek feedback from those that have an interest in your success.
You also have to be willing to listen to the improvement suggestions, so you can target your development efforts and gain valuable perspective.
Hold yourself accountable. It is easy to blame circumstances or other people. In the end, you own the results. Your level of success means that you have to deliberately destroy your comfort zone. In other words, you have to decide to become uncomfortable. The amazing thing is that when you decide to do this, you will eventually become comfortable at your new level.
The Mental Game
The similarities between Olympic athletes and elite sales professional are numerous. The mental game is a big part of what separates winning from losing.
Dan Gable, Olympic Champion Wrestler said it well, “Gold Medals aren’t made of Gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”
You must push yourself to become uncomfortable if you want to be among the top performers in your profession. Now is the time to make a decision—one that can change the entire trajectory of your career and your life. What is holding you back?
Personal Challenge: If you have not created your business goals for the year, think about the 4 things that you would like to accomplish. List action steps that you can begin immediately to more towards accomplishing them. Ask your sales leader to become your “success coach” and share your business goals. Set up a regular meeting cadence where you can share your progress and receive feedback. Not only will this develop a closer working relationship, but you will now have someone that will hold you accountable and help ensure the accomplishment of your goals.