Moving Forward

Moving Forward

As we close out another year, I wanted to share some thoughts with you about the future. No, I’m not going to make any predictions about the economy or business climate. What I want to write about this final time in 2022 is about moving forward.

The idea for this article came after I heard a really thought-provoking speech a few months ago. I decided to save it for this week. I took some notes so I could share some of the speaker’s insights. I hope you’ll think about your current situation and see how these might apply.

“We are all tested. We are always being tested. Success tests our gratitude. Failure tests our perseverance. No day or year is free from tests.”

There is a Hebrew word for test which is also related to another word which means to travel or move forward.

“Every test is an opportunity to move forward or to grow.”

“Sports don’t build character; they reveal it.” These words have been attributed to renowned basketball coach John Wooden and influential sportswriter Heywood Hale Broun. I think these daily tests and the way we approach and deal with them does the same thing.

The speaker said that challenges can often uncover hidden reserves and be the impetus for creating new strengths and reserves.

“We have the power to transform tests into opportunities, new understanding, and new growth.”

I’ve often heard that every client interaction should result in an order or more information. If you look at the previous sentence then you’ll see that the same things apply…the interaction is just another small test where you’re looking to find opportunities, new understanding, and new growth.

“Every day is examination day; many of life’s greatest, most valuable lessons are learned by being tested by adversity.”

While no salesperson wants an adversarial relationship with a client or their representatives, it is often an important part of the job to learn how to deal with the situations and challenges related to  winning and fulfilling an order.

As we complete another year, now is a good time for introspection, reflection, and self-evaluation.

Resolve to look inward and ask what you have to show from being tested. Life is not about just passing a test. Life’s tests are wasted if they don’t leave us a little better; a little wiser; and moving forward.

 I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year

Winning the Next Big Order

Winning the Next Big Order

I was listening to a Bay Area sports station (KNBR – 680 –The Sports Leader) the other day and the topic was “winning the prize.”  This was right after the Warriors won the NBA title again. They were discussing how hard it is to repeat, even though the Warriors have won or been in the finals many time the past eight years. They were saying how after the initial elation, there is often a big drop off. Very few teams repeat a world title back-to-back; often suffering a losing or mediocre season the next year. Why?

There was no one answer offered that answered the question… but one that seemed to make a lot of sense was that the players were very focused on the prize the year they won but forgot, let up, over-confident, or too relaxed about the journey the next year. It was the journey that had gotten them the prize; continuing to focus on and perform the fundamentals at the right time. The next year they didn’t continue the same steps that got them the prize.

This happens in sales all the time. Salespeople get very involved in a big project but forget or ignore the steps they need to take every day to continue winning the next big order. It is very common to hear a salesperson say that they don’t have time to network or prospect because they are too busy with a big project. I know large projects can consume a lot of time but it is dangerous to risk future business for one order or even a series of orders…as almost all clients slow down at some point.

It’s important to try to enjoy and perform each step of the journey known as the sales process every day, as these steps will more often than not get you the “prize.”
“We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work, we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile.”

Earl Nightingale
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs, Co-founder, CEO, Chairman Apple Inc.