One thing that I always look for in a new sales rep that I am hiring is a competitive spirit. Whether you want to believe it or not, sales is all about competition, and it is much more likely for a competitive person to be successful in sales than it is for a non-competitive person to be successful. Think for minute about how many competitions are going on during any given sales call:
1. You are competing against yourself. You want to be better than you were last week, last month, last year, etc. You should have the drive to beat your former self.
2. You are competing against your prospect. Your prospect is throwing out objection after objection, and you are trying to overcome those objections. Ben Affleck said something along these lines in the movie “Boiler Room”: “A sale is made on every call, either you sold the customer, or they sold you on all the reasons that they can’t buy, now who is selling who”.
3. You are competing against other companies fighting for the business. In most cases, we have other companies who perform similar functions or provide similar types of products as we do. We are competing against those companies to win the business over them.
4. You are competing against other sales people in your organization. You are either competing against what other sales reps have done before you in the past, or what other sales reps are doing in comparison to you in your current situation. You should have the drive to want to be better than what everyone else has either done in the past or is doing currently.
5. You are competing against history. Most buyers either feel like they have been “screwed over” by some sales person in the past, or have heard horror stories about someone they know being “screwed” in the past, and you are competing against that history.
These are just a few examples, and I am sure if you were to give it some thought, you could come up with more.
I will tell you a quick story about my competitive fire. I was once playing wii tennis a couple of years ago against my daughter, who was 9 years old at the time. We started playing at about 8:00 pm one Saturday night. Well, she beat me the first game, so we played again. She beat me again, and then again and again and again. She just kept beating me and I was getting so frustrated I could not even stand it! LOL At this time, I thought to myself, we are not quitting until I beat her. Well, keep in mind that she was 9 years old at the time, and her bed time was about 9:00 or 9:30 on weekends. Her bed time came and gone, and we kept playing, and I kept losing. The clock struck 12:00 midnight and we were still playing. She was dying to go to bed, but there was no way she was going to bed until I beat her. Sadly enough, she is as competitive as I am, and she would not just let me win so she could go to bed either! LOL
She had gotten so tired that she was laying down on the couch playing against me, still beating me! I was just hoping she would fall asleep as we were playing so I could finally say that I won! She never did fall asleep, but at 12:33, I finally beat her. Now, did she finally give in and let me win? She says to this day that she did not, and I don’t know if I will ever be sure, but I WON, so who cares! LOL
I want to point out the competitive nature that my daughter and I both had that night. It was fierce, and neither of us were giving in. That is the same competitive spirit that I have when it comes to selling. I am not saying that everyone has to take it to that extreme (well maybe I am, haha), but having the competitive fire will help you immensely in our field!
-The Sales Leader