by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author’s program note. A lady I know well, a lady accustomed not just to victory but to constant victory, was last month handed her lunch in her company’s sales contest. She lost by the thinnest of margins… just 1 widget. But it didn’t matter; for her opponent a win was a win; knocking off the queen was sweet indeed.
Thus my friend woke up this morning no longer champ, but “former” champ… and I decided to pen these thoughts because I’ve been where the lady is today… and I have a pretty good idea about how she feels. I’ve also got some thoughts I hope helpful for regaining the crown…
I suspect she already knows them and has already begun regrouping, for that’s what champs down on their luck do. But you probably don’t…
To get you in the mood for victory, I have selected Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit “I want you.” This is precisely what you must say to and about success. You’ll find it in any search engine. Go now. And when you’ve got it, dance it. For there’s nothing like dancing to clear your mind, put oxygen in the blood… and rouse yourself for your next great challenge — taking back the crown you’ve (temporarily) lost.
Congratulate the winner.
Ever watched the loser of our quadrennial elections for president get up and calm his rabid followers, to deliver for the world a gracious speech of concession, capitulation, and class? Of course you have… it’s as American a tradition as apple pie and selling missiles to tyrants. We like to think that people who have been at each others’ throats just hours ago mean to bring good fellowship and reconciliation to the nation. We expect these high expectations to be met… by losing presidential candidates and by… you. Do so at once. The quicker you make connection and say your piece, the faster you’ll move up and out of this most unhappy zone. Remember, if you can’t rise to actual sincerity, fake it. Either way, just do it.
What went wrong?
Champs either 1) win for a reason or series of reasons; or 2) lose for a reason or a series of reasons. The key is being clear on these reasons and either 1) maximizing their impact, or 2) limiting it.
You must know what you did that worked and arrange to do more of it.
For instance, say that you were making only ten prospect calls a day. This clearly wasn’t enough; that objective needs to be increased, to 10 CONNECTS per day, not just dials. This would increase your competitive position at once, after just 1 or 2 days. Do the same with everything you did before… increasing what you do and thereby increase your likelihood of winning.
Note: it is easy when you are a constant champ to take winning as an inevitable state of affairs. But no true champ ever takes winning as anything other than a state of constant preparation, focus and humility. The last is perhaps the most difficult factor… and the most essential.
What didn’t work.
Equally, you must decide what you did that didn’t work… and radically root it out of your brain and daily schedule.
Were you so confident of victory that you began to cut corners? For instance, instead of emailing to your safe lists every single day (the necessary standard for champs) perhaps you emailed them only 4 or 5 times in a week. Or, maybe you didn’t do your blogging daily as you should; again getting by, instead of getting ahead. If so, you need to re-read the story of the tortoise and the hare. There’s a lesson there just for you.
Important point: the factors discussed above are the two easiest components of the thorough review you must make, the review that puts winning closer to your grasp… and lessons the probabilities of future failure. Approach these factors as if you had never been a champ before… as if winning were your objective, your destiny, and you were determined to identify each factor that would help deliver victory. In other words, start from square one… never assume… never give it a “lick and a promise”… you need to reinvent your game to win it again.
Adding potential new success factors.
Okay, you’ve considered what you did that was successful and vowed to do more of that. And, you have reviewed the failure factors with stern determination to expunge them from your play book and daily success agenda. Now you need to brainstorm new things you can do which, if successful, make your time in the wilderness short and your restoration inevitable.
For instance, say that you were trying to run your business without calling a single prospect ever. In such a situation the “something new” you’d need to adopt would be calling so many prospects each and every day…. and not just calling them either, but connecting with them.
Equally, say you hadn’t been using landing pages, blogs, safe lists, traffic exchanges, etc. Now’s the time to add them…. one at a time. The objective is to improve your game, not spread yourself too thin. Focus is key…not overwhelming yourself, making yourself tired.
Now improve your offer.
Business champions all know that making a superior offer, an offer that excites, motivates, enthuses is the key to business success. To become a champion you need such an offer… to stay a champion you need such an offer… and to regain your throne you need such an offer… only better.
Thus brainstorm improvements you can make in your offer that will cause prospects to jump through hoops to get it. The offer is your key to becoming champion again.
Set your objectives.
At my company, Worldprofit, Inc., each month we crown a sales champ, then one grand champ for the year. To win these titles you need a daily, weekly and monthly objective.. Remember this is a champ’s objective… and must be appreciably better than the one you lost by. Here’s a hint. Structure your game so that you achieve at least 10% of your monthly objective in the first two days of the month. That’ll show the folks you mean business, and makes you a cheerful competitor.
Every loser has never been a champ, but every champ has been a loser. And, properly handled, losing can be a very good thing. Because losing forces you to review your methods; study your methods, and improve your methods…
… because from such study and analysis come all future championships… won by you, because you accept nothing less from yourself — and never will.