Love the Game, Win or Lose

A “no” is just as much a part of the game as a “yes.” You like the part of the game when your dream client says “yes” to your “ask.” You must also love the game when your dream client tells you “no.” It’s all part of the game, and no one is undefeated.

Prospecting is as big a part of the game is presenting in the board room. Your love for opportunity creation has to be every bit as deep as your love of what comes after an opportunity has been created. If you don’t love opportunity creation, if you don’t love the pursuit, you don’t love the game.

Asking for time is as important as the final “ask,” when you ask your dream client for their business. The sexy part of sales is when you get ink on paper and move your opportunity into the win column. Everything before that is the real game being played, the meetings, the back and forth, the risks. You have to love everything between target and close.

The deals that run off the tracks are part of the same game as the deals that end up in the win column. You are too happy about deals that die or are lost prematurely, and through no fault of your own. The deals that are lost on the way to your wins are part of the game, not separate from it.

Being competitively displaced when you make a mistake or misstep is the same game you are playing when you competitively displace your competitor. Given a long enough timeline, you will lose the clients you win. Even if it takes decades. That’s the same game as the one when you take your competitor’s longtime loyal client from them.

You aren’t supposed to like to lose. It’s not supposed to be fun. You’re also not supposed to like the word “no,” or dealing with deals that go south for no reason. You do, however, need to love the game enough to play it hard, and to learn to play it well. Win or lose.

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