Sales has no rules, and you have to know them all. You have to make decisions. You have to decide to act, or not act. You have to choose to pursue one strategy, or attempt a different one, never being 100 percent certain which, if either, leads to success.
- Do you stick with the stakeholder that brought you in and helped you create an opportunity? Or, instead, do you switch your focus to a stakeholder further up the organization hierarchy, believing that you need executive engagement more than you need executive sponsorship.
- Do you increase the size and scope of your solutions to create so much differentiated value so as to block your closest competitor? Or do you limit your initial approach, knowing that increasing the size and investment, believing that your client will be cautious and make a smaller move than what they are capable of? Even though you know what’s right, that doesn’t mean you can necessarily win that way. Do you look at incremental change?
There are no guarantees. You can do something that works perfectly in one opportunity while failing in another with a very similar set of circumstances. You can recognize a pattern that suggests that one course of action is better than another, winning in some cases, and losing in others.
This is why you have to play the game. You have to do what you believe is the right thing to do, even though others will give you advice to the contrary. You have to take your very best shot, and you have to play your game, win or lose. You are responsible for the wins when you are right, and when things turned out the way you suspected they would. You are also responsible for your losses, whether you played the game the way you saw it, or whether you took someone else’s advice.
In the end, you have to play. Do what you believe is right.
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