What Champions Are Made Of

What Are Champions Truly Made Of?

The NFL is by far my favorite sport. It’s a game of passion and emotion executed at the highest level, on arguably the world’s biggest stage. In so many cases as we have witnessed the past two weeks, time management and preparation determines who prevails victor as professional’s battle for every inch.

For me, my preference is to watch the champions on each team more so than to salute any specific flag. Greats such as Tom Brady, Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez and Coach Belichick proved once again this weekend why they are some of the most respected professionals in the game.

You have to ask yourself. What allows these champions to perform week in and week out, season in and season out at such an elevated level?

What is the key ingredient to a champion?

One word accurately defines a “champion” in my opinion. COMMITMENT! Sure passion and emotion is a must, but first you must have consciously committed to being the best at whatever you do. When you commit to anything, you are obligated and bound to that person, that career and that purpose.

I see the same connection in the businesses and sales people I visit each week. All of them have the same hours in a day, the same tools available to them, yet some flourish  and win each and every week, while others fumble here and there resulting in a .500 winning percentage.

Let’s rewind 12 plus years. A young boy walks onto a grass lot and begins to learn the game of football. He learns drills and formations, techniques and fundamentals. He repeats these same exercises year after year counting down the hours until his next practice, game or season, committed to the game of football and to excelling as well as outperforming his opponent. Blessed with an opportunity to play in the NFL this young man walks into his first training camp only to perform the same drills and run the same plays he has for the last 12 plus years.

Both the amateur and the professional use the same play book and run the same plays. The difference lies in preparation and commitment. The profession of sales is no different.  Some people achieve Championship status, yet most exist and remain an amateur for their entire career. How can some people perform at such a level that they win every week, while others hover around the .500 winning percentage.

We are all given the same tools, have the same amount of time available in a day and are all given equal opportunities to win. The difference between the amateur and professional is commitment.

The amateur is always prepared with an excuse as to why a sale didn’t close or why the customer didn’t want what they were selling. While the professional has the answers to their client’s problems and won’t except a “no” because he believes to his core that if the client doesn’t do business with him, that the client is getting an injustice. See the professional knows his product, his service and his company are the only logical solution and is committed to not allowing his clients make a mistake.

Passion and emotion also come into play with the professional, but only as a result from commitment. He is committed to creating his own market, committed to having the answers to all his clients concerns and understands that just because a client may throw a stall or objection his way, he recognizes this is simply his opportunity to perform, to handle the stall and win! When you’re dealing with a professional everyone wins.

Are you a professional or an amateur? Do you make excuses when a client doesn’t buy your product or service? Do you have the answers to your client’s fears and challenges? Are your answers rehearsed, memorized and perfected? Do you care so much about each of your clients that you simply cannot allow them to NOT do business with you?

Answer yes to these questions? Congratulations you are in the top 2% of your field!

Answer no to any of these questions? Congratulations, your honesty speaks volumes to your commitment. It’s time to review some film, replay yesterday’s game footage and be better prepared for tomorrows big match up.

The amateur sales person reads less than 2 books per year and hears the same thing from his clients every day which limit his success rate: “We need to think about this”, “We really like you, but your price is higher than XYZ’s”, “We always get 3 estimates before making any decision”. Amateurs always have a valid reason as to why he lost the sale; the economy, the buyers were cheap and only cared about price, the weather isn’t creating urgency right now and on and on….

The professional is always studying his craft, reading, listening to audio sets and attending seminars that will help him serve his clients better. The professional has answers for all the stalls or objections he has heard and has rehearsed them to perfection. The professional creates his own urgency and shows his clients why waiting is never a reasonable option for them.

Victory is determined inch by inch, minute by minute and game by game.

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