alt text image of an accelerator pedal

Don’t Take Your Foot Off the Accelerator

You’ve got a full pipeline. So full that you’re not sure you can handle all of the opportunities you are certain to win. But you’re already buried alive, and you really want some quality of life. So you lift your foot off the accelerator. Then, the opportunities that were coming fast and furious when you were on your sales game slow to a trickle. What was once far too much is now far too little.

Or this. You win your big deal dream client. So big, in fact, that you’re certain you’ve made your number for the year. So you start ignoring sales, avoiding anything that might result in even more work. You lift your foot off the accelerator, and instead of a gradual slowing of momentum, your sales opportunities come to a crawl.

Don’t Worry About the Brakes

You can’t take your foot off the accelerator. When it comes to sales, there are too many things that can go wrong. Through no fault of your own, you lose opportunities you should win. Your prospective client puts things on hold and kills an opportunity you were counting on. Market conditions change and make what was once a target rich environment a suddenly target starved environment.

You never have to hit the brakes. There are countless forces that will do that for you.

Nothing slows your momentum quite as effectively as you simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. You may not mean to bring your sales to a complete stop, but that happens–whether you want it to or not.

Keep It Floored

Your job is too keep your foot on the accelerator and the accelerator on the floor. It’s easier to find additional help and negotiate for later start dates than it is to stop prospecting and have to rebuild your pipeline from a dead stop. When you feel you need to hit the brakes, remember that it’s more likely that you hit a patch in the road and are slowed by external forces than it is that you maintain your current pace.


Have you ever made the mistake of taking your foot off the gas pedal only to slow your opportunities too much?

Have you ever slowed your prospecting because you had too much work?

How do you maintain your prospecting effort when you are moving fast with a lot of existing opportunities?

What’s the best thing to do to keep developing opportunities when you are buried alive?



  • Tom Rochford

    Another term of art is “pushing in the clutch” but the all have the same result. When the article talks about so many things can go wrong the one that is almost always predictable is that if your having a successful year – you’ll stop networking. Why? Well you’re too darn busy – why would you waste the time networking? Another practice or habit that will be lost – customer retention. Heck, you’ve got so many customers who cares if you lose a couple? Right? Keep your eyes on the prize!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Spot on, Tom!

  • Mike Weinberg

    I love it! Couldn’t agree more. My old manager taught me years ago: “the Sales car only has one pedal, the skinny one on the right.” I even wrote a post with that title sometime last year. It’s momentum. It’s Jim Collins and the “flywheel.” Keep it floored! Thanks Anthony.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Of course you do! We are of one mind on all the fundamental stuff. I should have saved myself the writing and just posted a link!

  • Zachary Jeans

    Love the analogy. Great questions at the end of the post. Would love you to answer those questions in your next post.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      I’ll put them on the editorial calendar, Zachary!

  • S. Anthony Iannarino