There’s little doubt that winners behave differently then losers. It’s easily observable in sports and sales.
Let’s take a look at some specific behaviors and then explore how to leverage initial success to achieve future wins in sales.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter provides some insights in her book Confidence, where she explores the behavior of winners in the world of sports. We have translated five of her observations to the world of sales.
- Resistance to Setbacks. Winning often produces a type of energy and resilience to persist after setbacks. Winners sometimes play on even while injured, lifted by a kind of winners’ high. If some early wins can be achieved by sales people, it makes it easier to press on when faced when tough situations in the next account.
- Receptivity to Feedback. Winners are more likely to voluntarily discuss mistakes and accept negative feedback. Because they are confident about the possibility of winning, they see practicing as a route to a positive outcome. This is great news in sales because it provides a foundation for sales coaching.
- Focus. Sport winners learn how to keep the eye on the ball and sales winners focus because they’ve had the experience of knowing what it takes to close and implement a sale.
- Team Spirit. Winning as a team makes it easier to respect and listen to one another. Winning teams maintain high aspirations and act generously toward each other. In sales this is a big deal because team selling is becoming increasingly important.
- Self-determination. As Kanter points out “Winners have more control over their own destiny. Why tamper with success? Losers get attention of the negative kind. They are encumbered with help.” Enough of that, and losers spend their time in meetings instead of practicing and improving performance.
Sales managers need to help sales reps leverage the positives outcome from early wins. This is a particularly important when launching a new product or for a new sales rep. Winning provides a halo that makes everything seem to glow. Glowing is nice, but more importantly it can translate into increased sales if reinforced and managed.
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