I recently was thinking about athletic dominance in a variety of sports. From Tom Brady in Football to Michael Jordan in Basketball and Jack Nicholas in Golf, and many others, each of these people not only had great careers but were a dominate player at their time. Although dominance tends to be associated with number of championship victories and length of participation over time, dominance also incorporates the broader aspect of being part of something greater.
Those athletes who were in team sports such a basketball and football, tended to not just take the role of dominate player but also included the team members which were critical to their individual success. The athletes who we primarily viewed as being in individual sports such as golf or swimming, they also were very complimentary of the team of support staff which behind the scenes positioned them of individual greatness.
So, what do athletes who were dominate in their chosen sport have to do with sales dominance? Well, we as leaders can learn lots of important lessons from people who have passed before us and left behind indicators of how we too can be dominate in our particular field or what we are in pursuit of. These traces of greatness apply on an almost universal basis to life both in business and in our personal world.
Looking back on my career, in its early phase I was terrified of doing sales. I had associated it with people being sold something rather than helping resolve a situation or problem with an answer. I had to make what at the time was a radical shift in thinking to a more open and constructive view of what sales could and should be. The same is true for dominance in any endeavor. Somewhere along the path to dominance there is a point where a critical decision must be made. This transition or thought is what holds so many people back from their next level of better results.
Part of what gets in the way is the experiences we have already had in the past confusing or distracting us from trying better ways to achieve a desired result. Think of it in terms of how many times did Jack Nicholas have to rework his swing to stay competitive as he aged? The swing which he used to accumulate his first wins was not the same form he used later in his career. If Jack was not strong enough to mentally decide he had to change then he would have stayed with what worked at the beginning which over time would not be good enough to keep him competitive. He would lose his dominance.
As leaders, we too must get out of our own way sometimes to personally grow and thus grow our organizations. If what worked at startup would work at a larger more productive level, then no problem staying with the same approach and techniques. Reality is that the world moves forward so we either adapt, adjust and be agile or we fall behind. The mental pressure to give up what got us to our first level of success and trade that in on the anticipation its replacement will be better is that point I referenced earlier. It is a jumping off point to the next level or greatness or dominance. Dominate in any undertaking is not just about wins. That is just one of the metrics used for comparison purposes. The real element of dominance is your openness and willingness to stop doing one set of success principles and replace them with a new set of success principles to have a new level of results.
Sales is no different. What caused you to build a pipeline last year and have a great closing rate to be a great salesperson is good information to never forget. I’m sure Jack Nicholas still knows his first swings of the golf club. He traded that set of “how to” elements for new and updated ones. You as a leader need to look at your leadership and your teams’ outcomes and ask yourself – do you need to upgrade your sales success principles to grow to the next level of results?
Looking to grow your sales pipeline and need some sales leadership to improve your swing? Call a Promise Guide at JKL Associates – FL (407) 984-7246 or MI (313) 527-7945