THE SUPER BOWL OF LIFE
by Joe Bonura, CSP
From Top To Bottom
I watched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lose in overtime
play in the 2009 National Football League wild card playoff game.
The loss came a few days after Peyton was declared NFL offensive
player of the year. The same fate befell Matt Ryan, of the Atlanta
Falcons, who lost to the Arizona Cardinals a few days after Ryan
was named rookie quarterback of the year.
Winners Lose Too
This proves that winners lose too. I am sure that both Peyton Manning
and Matt Ryan will be back next year to play again. Real winners
learn from their defeats, and they move forward, while losers quit
and give up. Manning and Ryan are real winners for sure.
It Is Not Always Easy
After a shaky start to the 2008 season, Peyton's team lost the
wild card playoff game after a nine-game winning streak. The same
principles that govern winners in sports could also govern winners
in sales. No matter how successful we may be on a given day, the
opposite could happen on another day. The secret is to not give
up, but to keep going, when the going is not easy. The easiest thing
to do is to give up, but abandoning your goal leads to an unfulfilled
life and career.
When Lightning Strikes
Anyone can sail in calm seas, but not everyone can sail when the
wind starts to blow, the sun is blotted out by dark clouds, and
the lightning strikes. Such was the scenario when the San Diego
Chargers struck the Indianapolis Colts to win the playoff game.
There Is Always Tomorrow
Do winners feel the disappointment? Sure they do. The difference
between a winner and a loser is that winners learn from their failures
and move forward to the next season, or the next sales call--as
sales superstars do.
Next Time Is Now
What do you suppose Peyton will be doing during the off-season?
He will be watching the ill-fated-game film to determine better
play strategies, so that next time, he will be better prepared.
You should do the same thing every time you lose a sale. Look at
the game film in your mind's eye, and consider ways that you can
be better prepared next time. You can call that lost prospect and
ask for advice on improvements to your sales approach, and they
will be more than happy to help.
A Year To Remember
You should also remember that sometimes, no matter how good a job
you do, you may still lose. That happened to me back in 1978, a
year I will always remember, when I owned and operated one of the
most successful advertising agencies in Kentucky. We dedicated ourselves
to the success of one of our clients, a client that represented
70% of our business. Although we were good at what we did and we
helped our client succeed and compete in a very tough industry,
the client decided that they needed a change.
Life Is Fair
We were invited to compete with five other advertising agencies
to keep the account; we gave a powerful presentation; and yet, the
client decided to go with another agency. My first reaction was
that life is not fair. I spent a few days mourning the loss.
Stick Your Neck Out
I finally decided that I was not getting anywhere by fretting over
the loss, and that I would stick my neck out of my self-imposed
shell and move forward. I began making more sales calls than I had
ever made in my life, and within a few months, we obtained some
new business and moved forward again. Are you mourning the slow
economy, or are you taking action to change the slow economy?
Retool And Refocus
W. Clement Stone said, "In every adversity, there is the seed
of a greater or equivalent benefit." Because of the loss of
our largest account, we retooled and refocused, and within five
years, we were the second largest advertising agency in Kentucky.
Win The Super Bowl
We lost the playoffs and won the Super Bowl for one reason: We
did not give up. You lose only when you quit. As long as you keep
trying, you will get results. In a slow, stalled, or bad economy,
there are always people who have money to spend and people who need
what you have to offer.
Take A Lesson From Macy's
I was shopping at Macy's, and the store was full of shoppers in
spite of this slow economy because they were responding to Macy's
advertising and marketing. If Macy's had not aggressively pursued
customer business, the store would not have been full of shoppers.
Step Back To Move Forward
Stop licking your wounds. Step back and observe where you are in
your business and question what you can do today to take positive
action toward your goals. If you do not have goals, it is time that
you make some New Year commitments for 2009. Peyton and Matt are
getting ready for a comeback in next year's NFL season. You should
do the same for building your business.
© 2009 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.