Think Tight, Play Loose

Author James Allen wrote, “Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him;” although the essay was written in 1902, it remains a timeless proverb 110 years later. If circumstances could be grown in a garden, it would be harvested on the blacktop. In sales, we are inundated with circumstances-both personally and professionally, our situations are often intertwined. After a 2 hour loss, mentally beaten and battered, we have to psyche ourselves up for the next Up-yes we’ve been taught that our next opportunity is in the next up; I’ve heard the “You’re that much closer to your next deal,” Gipper-like mantra before, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that with only a few days remaining, I haven’t covered my draw. And you thought, you were the only one to utter those words…

No matter what position or which department, we all face adversity and our stories are eerily similar. Whether elections, economic uncertainties, or storms-from coast-to-coast, North to South, we are all facing challenges-the only thing separating us is our personal revelation beyond the smoke of adversity. There may be only a few days remaining in your month; it’s a fact the play clock is ticking and the sands are diminishing in the hour glass, but be assured you can get yourself out of your situation if you think tight and play loose.

In spite of the Yoda’s of the blacktop’s parking lot theories, you are not cursed-you simply changed the rules of the game. In the game of Blackjack (i.e. 21), the rules are simple; based on what the dealer shows, you either hit (ask for another card) or stand (no more cards). The entire game changes, when one person at the table decides to play his hand based on emotion and no longer logic-ignoring the proven strategies of the game. The same is true for you sales; you cannot place a bet on your month using your emotions nor can you wage the potential for a sale based on what you see and how you feel-you have to play the entire deck, your proven processes and your Road to the Sale’s fundamentals, even when you lose a hand (deal). The more steps you skip, the luckier you must become.

Like the game of golf, selling is a game of strategy. You don’t have to have the gift of gab-you don’t even have to be a Wikipedia of product knowledge; you only have to be disciplined. Discipline will beat talent every time; we’ve all worked alongside of talented flakes-those who were the best there never was; conversely we work with those less talented, yet they take a disciplined approach to their month, correlating to years of consistent success. Having the joy of discipline inoculates you from the pain of regret. Being a disciple of discipline, i.e. thinking tight, allows you to play loose-believe me, your customers can sense when you are trying to sell based on your needs and not theirs.Your success doesn’t have to be predicated on the winds of circumstances (emotion) , instead, it’s foundationally set when you think your way through your month (logic).

If your abysmal month is spiraling toward an end, think your way through the end of the month instead of rehashing what happened in the beginning. Nothing good is going to come out of what happened yesterday-it’s over. Instead, think your way through your final days. Formulate your success by first determining how much money you need to make in order to salvage your month and then divide that number by your per copy average; this will give you your needed number of sales. Then take your number of needed sales and divide by your closing ratio; this number equals your projected number of Ups. Finally, take your Ups, divide by the number of days left in your month and GO TO WORK turning over every rock of opportunity you can muster.

Example:

$2000 (needed) / $350 (per copy avg) = 6 sales needed.

6 sales / 25% (closing ratio) = 24 ups / 6 days left = 4 ups per day.

There are those who want something to change, and then there are those who go to work to make change possible. Take the time; be accountable. You can change any situation if you think what to do, and then do what you think.

I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.

           

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