alt text image of a man in front a labyrinth

Sales Opportunities as Labyrinths

A sales opportunity is a labyrinth. It’s a series of decisions that you have to make. Some of the decisions you make move you closer to your goal. Other decisions lead you to a dead end.

Some of the labyrinths seem to look the same. It can feel as if you’ve uncovered the pattern that unlocks all labyrinths, especially when two labyrinths seem to follow exactly the same pattern. But you’ve haven’t unlocked the pattern. Following that pattern exactly may lead you to a dead end the next time.

It’s dark in a labyrinth. You can only see so far in front of you. You have to make choices based on your belief that they are the right choices. You make these choices even though you can’t be 100% certain they lead to success.

If you come to a dead end and there is still time on the clock, you can backtrack and make different choices. You can try again. But there is no guarantee that the next choice you make will be the right choice either.

And some choices you make immediately end the game. Game over. You lose.

When you lose an opportunity it’s easy to see that you could have taken a different path. Now that you’ve lost, you know that you should have taken another path. Knowing what you know now, you most certainly would have taken a different path.

But none of this is exactly true. You never have a view from above the opportunity labyrinth where the path is plain and clear.


Is the path to a deal always clear?

What causes you to get lost and have to backtrack when you back a bad decision?

What roadblocks do you run into that aren’t of your own making?

Is it always true that you can identify the path you should have taken after the fact? How do you know?

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  • Dr. Marc Tinsley

    Nice post. Just one clarification:

    A sales opportunity is a maze.

    A labyrinth doesn’t have choices and therefore no decisions need to be made. There are no dead ends.

    If only sales was like a labyrinth; then you would close every sale.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      I think you are technically correct, Marc. I thought they were synonyms, no?

      • Dr. Marc Tinsley

        Often used as synonyms but there is a distinction. I didn’t know about the difference until a few years ago.

        One of the reasons labyrinths are used in meditation is that you can walk along the path without concern of hitting a dead end or making a wrong turn.

        It’s a great mindfulness exercise to overcome the challenges of the sales maze.

  • Amber King

    Sales opportunities are indeed like mazes. It is up to us to look for the way out. Opportunities are not just laid out in front of us, we need to look for it.