We talk a lot in these pages about the specific things required for success in sales, such as levels of activity and what salespeople need to do to hit targets. But what else makes us winners? Why do some people outperform others? We think it’s all about commitment.

Life is never always about specifics.  It can often be the intangibles that make the difference, in any walk of life. Why did Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in the season-ending tennis tournament this month? Yes they’re both amazing tennis players, two of the best ever, and on their day they’re both capable of breathtaking tennis.

Yet there is always a winner when they play. Sometimes it’s Djokovic, sometimes it’s Federer. As they’re the same players each time they play, it must be the intangibles that make a difference.

For example, Djokovic said after his win that he was motivated by his father’s serious illness and by his desire to win the final for his Dad. So was Federer up against an additional force yesterday, and what will he do next time they play?   You could see in Djokovic’s performance that losing was not an option for him.

What about salespeople? How are we motivated? What will we do to win?

When I’m in a buying situation I look at the salesperson and I gauge how interested they are in selling to me. In winning! Are they going through the motions or do they really want me as a customer? Really want me!

It’s like this. If you’re starting a business relationship with someone, and let’s face it that’s what the seller / customer relationship is, as a customer you know it will never get any better than it is at the beginning. Is the salesperson:

  • Sending you the message that they want your business?
  • Taking the time to understand your needs?
  • Demonstrating that they’ll be easy to do business with?
  • Enthusiastic about their product or service?
  • Working with you in an open an honest manner?
  • Prepared to do that little bit extra to win your business?

If they are, you might want to start to develop a relationship with them. If they’re not then you must realise that they’re never likely to, so don’t be surprised if any ongoing relationship disappoints you.

It is all about commitment. It is for Novak Djokovic and it is for salespeople.

What messages do you send to your customers? Would you do business with you?

How much do you want it?


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Brendan Walsh