How to Fight Above Your Weight Class (Part One)

alt text image of slingshotMany of the companies that you compete with are bigger than your company. They have more locations than your company, they have more people working there than your company, they have more resources than your company, and they have more money than your company.

Their salespeople know that they are bigger than you and your company. And your dream client knows that they are bigger than your company.

If you want to win your dream client, you have to compete against bigger, better-financed competitors.

You Must Believe You Can Win . . . Even When It Is Unlikely

The first rule to fighting above your weight class is the hardest rule to adopt and to practice, but it has to be adopted nonetheless. The first enabling rule of fighting above your weight class requires that you adopt the belief that you can win.

You have to believe that you can win because you can and will execute the fundamentals of sales success better than your larger competitors.

You have to believe that you can win because you want the deal more than your competitors, and because you care more about ensuring that the client achieves the new and better result that they need.

You have to believe that you belong in the competition with your bigger competitors because you have something to offer, something better than they have to offer. You have to believe that you are part of the decision and that you can—and will—make a difference in the contest and in the end result when chosen.

You have to believe that size doesn’t matter. You have to believe that bigger doesn’t equal better. Bigger equals bigger. Better equals better.

Believing that you can beat larger competitors doesn’t defy logic or the facts; smaller companies beat larger companies for their dream clients every day. In a real contest with five competitors, you being the smallest, at least three of the larger competitors are certain to lose the deal (think about that).

You Must Act Like You Can Win

The hard part about adopting this belief is maintaining the belief against the longest of odds. You have to believe this even when you are seriously outgunned. This belief is what allows you to fight like Hell. It sustains the never say die attitude that gives you a fighting chance.

The reason that is critical that you believe you can win is that you will only take the actions necessary to winning if you believe. If you don’t believe that winning is possible, you will go through the motions, but your passion for the deal will never be known or felt by your dream clients. You will fail to act as aggressively and as certainly as you should act.

Fighting above your weight class requires that you punch above your weight class. You have the power to knock out a bigger and stronger opponent. Your execution of the fundamentals, your discipline, your passion, your commitment, your business acumen (especially your business acumen), your ability to build the right solution, your ability to lead change, your ability to join your dream client’s team, and your ability to produce the result they need all combine to give you power beyond your weight.

First you have to believe, and then you have to act.

Conclusion

Many of the companies that you compete with are bigger than your company. If you want to win your dream client, you have to compete against bigger, better-financed competitors. To fight above your weight class, you have to believe that you can win, and then you have to take the actions that that belief enables and requires.

Questions

  1. What do you believe about larger, better-financed competitors? Do you believe that bigger companies beat smaller companies simply because they are bigger? Do you believe—even despite the evidence of the past few years and this recession—that bigger means better? What part of your experience tells you that bigger isn’t better, better is better?

  2. What do you have to believe in order to fight above your weight class? What do you have to believe about yourself? What do you have to believe about your company? What do you have to believe about your team? What do they have to believe about you? What do they have to believe about themselves?

  3. Why do so many companies choose a smaller company as a partner over larger companies? What are the differences that make the difference? What do the companies that make this decision believe about the size of the company they choose? What do they believe about the people that they choose to work with?

  4. What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your ability to fight above your weight class? How many weight classes up can you fight and deliver knockout sales power? How do your beliefs enable and support your decision to act?


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