How to Play the Long Game

“You’re an animal like the other animals or you’re something different, something higher, and known to be different and higher. Someone has to be the good guy.” Peggy Noonan, A Flawed Report’s Important Lesson, WSJ, December 12, 2014

Some of your competitors will lie to win a deal. They will say whatever they believe their prospective client wants to hear, knowing it isn’t the truth. You may be frustrated knowing that they’re lying and winning.

Some businesses you compete against will act immoral, and some will take actions that are illegal, all to make a buck. Their success may get a lot of press, and it might look pretty in the papers right now.

Some of your competitors will speak poorly of you and your business to win an opportunity. You may be frustrated and angry to learn that a competitor is trying to make themselves look better by trying to make you look bad.

Some people will tell their prospective clients what they want to hear in order to ingratiate themselves to that person. The would rather have their business than tell them what they really need to hear.

None of these tactics are effective long term. In fact, over time these tactics undo those who use them. Someone may effectively lie to win a deal, but over time that lie will be exposed, and the person who lied will no longer be credible. People and companies that try to win by using tactics that are illegal or immoral get a different kind of press when these actions are exposed. Eventually, you are going to judged by who you are, not what your competitors say about you. And, eventually, your dream clients are going to need to know the truth about what they need to change and how much it is going to cost.

You can’t control the tactics that other people or companies use to pursue and win new business. The only thing that you can control is who you are going to be. If you decide to be something different and higher, you will be known for being those things, even if it takes time for this to be known.

Character is the long game. Who you are going to be has nothing to do with the decisions that other people make about who they are going to be. Your character is your business.

Legacy is the longest of long games. The difference that you are going to make is solely up to you, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that other people aren’t considering their legacy. Your legacy is your business.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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