You Get to Play. You Don’t Get to Automatically Win.

When you ask your dream client for a meeting, you are playing a game. The game works like this: If you trade enough value for that meeting, your dream client says, “yes,” and you win. If what you say isn’t perceived as valuable enough to command your dream client’s time and attention, you lose.

Failure is feedback. It informs your plan, and it provides you the opportunity to evolve your approach and try again.

When you try to gain an agreement as to the process you and your dream client will engage in as you explore change, another game is being played. If you do an excellent job describing the process and how your dream client benefits from that process, you win. You lose when you cede control of the process to your prospective client, and you likely decrease the odds of winning.

Losing control of the process means that you won’t serve your dream client well enough through the process to ensure a win, and it will educate you by teaching you what doesn’t work.

Pricing conversations are another game you play. The game is won when you can justify your delta, the difference between your price and what your dream client is already paying, or your price and your competitor’s price. The game is lost when you can’t help your the contacts within the company you are calling on justify spending more to obtain the better outcomes you are trying to sell them.

You will lose the game, and it will be your fault. You will also lose the game even when you do everything right.

You will sometimes win the game when you play it poorly and deserve to lose. From time-to-time, you will lose the game when you deserve to win. In sales, no one goes undefeated.

You can always improve, and you should always be working on getting better. That said, you always get to play the game, but the fact that you are playing does not entitle you to win. When you lose, take responsibility for the loss, make your adjustments, and play the game again.

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