Closing Ceremonies 2012 London Olympics

Now that the closing ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics are over and the world have had a chance to see the best athletes in the world, one of the questions I asked as a technology sales athlete was: “What did we see and hear that can be applied to enhance our performance AND make a difference in our profession?”

Both Olympians and sales athletes struggle with the demands of daily living, rejection, competition, and family matters but sales athletes also wade thru frigid buying cycles driven by global fiscal constraint, and a more knowledgeable and informed buyer. So, how can you keep winning in the technology sales profession for 5, 10, 15, or even 20+ years and still LOVE what you do? Here are 6 observations and tips from world-class Olympic competitors that might help:

  • Technology matters. Just because you sell technology products and services doesn’t mean you’re competent using them to become a more effective professional.  The velocity of change requires top competitors to leverage the latest tools and techniques to prepare, train, and win in a hyper-competitive niche.
  • Win today or find yourself sitting in the crowd watching others achieve your dream. Winning is habitual… and so is losing. Whatever you do once, your mind validates it as a possibility. Win and you can win again.
  • Schedule your rest like you schedule your work.  Reject the “always-on” trend. Without sufficient rest & recovery your performance will suffer.
  • Get a coach. If a world-class, gold-medal Olympian has coach, why wouldn’t a sales athlete?
  • Specialize. Just because you run a great 100 meters, is no guarantee you’ll finish a marathon. The internet can make anyone a generalist in a few days. Become an expert and others will call on you when they reach their limits.
  • Give Back. Few can understand the unique psyche, passion, focus, training methods, and intensity of a champion… except other champions, their closest competitors, and the ones who loved them before they were successful. Share what you know with a few select, disciplined, and dedicated professionals who will commit to do the same when they win.