Today's sale, this month's target, your yearly quota -- this is the game of your life. Why, because you're only as good as your last accomplishment. If you win, you're praised and rewarded. If you lose, you pay a toll no matter how bulletproof the excuse.

More importantly, it carries you to your next phase -- your new status, your new income, your new office, your new job. So what are you doing to prepare for the game of your life? Sales managers, what are you doing to prepare your team? They are your only game in town right now?

Now let's reflect for a second. Are you satisfied with your past performances? If not, you've got to get help. If you’re a sales manager, are you satisfied with the past performances of your sales team? If not, you've got to step-up -- give help and get help to improve your management skills.

This is playoff season. Do you think the professional athletes who made the playoffs are working-out? Do you think the coaches are having strategy sessions, film reviews, and practice drills to simulate what plays the other team will run? Do you think the coaches are conferring with each other and then coaching the players? Do you think there are team practices? Of course there are. This next game is important -- the game of their lives. If they win, they move on. If they lose, they are out, and tomorrow could mean the coaches and players are cut.

Sales is the same. Every game is like the playoffs. When you win, you're a hero. When you lose, the chatter of blame starts. There are no acceptable excuses for losing. Sure, the bosses seem to understand, but behind you, they are full of doubt and covering their own tails with talk of how you screwed up.

So what are you doing for this game of your life? Are you training to get better? Are you taking courses, reading books, listening to teleseminars, watching sales training videos? Are you planning your strategies and conditioning yourself for your upcoming season, or should I say your ongoing sales challenges?

Are you preparing for your sales pursuit?
1. Scoping out all the customers’ players
a. Setting up meetings to learn and understand each one’s desires?
b. Determining how you will relate to show how you fit each player best?
2. Have you scouted the competition for this game?
a. How will competition handle all the customers’ players?
3. Who are your coaches?
a. Who can you develop as coaches?
4. What are your red flags and strengths?
a. How will you use your strengths to overcome your red flags?

This is what preparation requires, and should be done before each game (sales pursuit) if you want to win. Even the sure wins need a game plan to ensure no surprises. The only thing you can be sure about is that you can't be sure about anything.

Let's look at training and preparation from a different perspective. Do lawyers prepare for trials? Do doctors prepare for operations -- run tests, check x-rays, discuss the procedure with assistances, anesthesiologists, nurses, etc.? Do engineers prepare before they commit their designs -- measure, calculate, sketch, confer, and redo as necessary? Of course they do. Additionally lawyers, doctors and engineers by law are required to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their licenses. Why, because conditions, behaviors, technologies, etc. change and they must be attuned and ready to handle them.

What about selling? Is selling so easy that training and preparation can be ignored? Is the reward for winning meaningless or the consequence for losing insignificant? If not, let me suggest you start training and keep training for rest of your career. Then, get in the practice of preparing and keep preparing for every game, as I indicated above.

If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. Getting better requires learning, training, executing, reviewing, and redoing. There is plenty of material and people available to help you. No matter whether you're a salesperson or a sales manager, we all need continuing education. We also have to prepare for each upcoming game. No matter whether you're a salesperson or a sales manager, we all have to prepare for each sales meeting and sales pursuit, and how we will coach, mentor and train our salespeople. Executing without training in preparation is the best way to a slow death.

So this is the beginning -- a new year, a new quarter, a new month, new week, or new day. This is the first time you're seeing this prospect, or the first time meeting this customer under the conditions that have transpired since you last saw him or her. In other words, the game of your life is about to begin. Do you have the skills, and can you pull them off?

Do you have at your fingertips the combinations and sequences to handle what's thrown at you? Or, are you coming in from the bleachers ready to wing it -- out of shape and unaware of the obstacles? Are you thinking this sale will be like all the others and you can handle it?

Before you get too full of yourself and feel you can handle selling and sales management without further training and preparation, consider how well you've handled your previous games. Are you happy with your past performances? Sales managers, are you happy with your team's performances? Are you at the status and income level you'd like to be? Are you getting rave reviews from your bosses? If not, start learning, training and preparing before you suit up for the next game. Remember, today is the first and most important game of the rest of your life.

And now invite you learn how to overcome one of your biggest obstacles.

Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.

Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link http://sammanfer.com/GatekeeperEbook.htm . Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.

Author's Bio: 

Sam has put together his unique “Take’n It to the Streets” actions for you to feel you belong with any level or executive. Just click this link Elevate Yourself to the C-Level NOW 10 Strategies, Tactics and Techniques plus narratives and an example to show you how.

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