Living, eating, breathing

I’ve only ever had a couple true dedications in my life and their payoff has always been equal to my input + a network effect. It’s the dedication that opens the effect of the network, it’s only when you live, eat and, breathe your own dedication that the network effect can come to work for us in a way that adds to that payoff.

In high school I had an uncanny dedication to American football, but I wasn’t interested in the historical stats of any team, or knowing all the particulars of the current players-du-jour, I was a student of the game itself, the positions I played, the weaknesses and strengths of our playbook. I studied film religiously; how I could improve my play and exploits open for the taking of our opponents.

It was a disastrous ‘career.’ The teams that I played on went for a combined 11 wins in 40 games collectively, we were by no stretch of the imagination, any good. Individually, a few of the athletes and I won minor accolades for our play, but my dedication was for nought, I was courted to play on lesser-tier college teams in tiny towns across the country and found myself not moving away for college after high school.

In sports there is a huge network in effect creating opportunities and challenges, particularly with such organized team sports as football where success is dependent on proper execution of coordinated individual efforts by people from many different backgrounds with their own strengths and shortcomings, a lot like a business, a political campaign, a volunteer organization is run.

In sales we get to have a direct effect on our network, maintaining and building it is how we develop the economic effect for our business and earn our paychecks. The dedication though is what attracts the network that writes those checks, are you dedicated to the outcome that your customers want and need? If you were in your prospect’s shoes would your level of dedication be enough to convince you to sign that contract?

Your life and job is on the line to produce for your company daily and oftentimes it can seem that the person you’re negotiating with is holding things up for no reason; well, have you given them a reason not to? Does your counterpart across the table see in you a dedication to overdeliver for them and the ability to do it? Do you know their business intimately? How about their personal motivations, fears, distractions and ideals? Are you consumed with the next call, meeting, deal, meal or other item trivial to their life and career?

Dedication in sales means being a friend, psychologist, career coach,  and business analyst. Your network will carry you through the hard times when they see that you do the same for them, but it means living, eating and breathing dedication to your customer, coworkers, employer and results. Your wife is in this network acting on your results, your children, boss, direct reports, indirect reports, customers, previous bosses, coworkers, friends, and family, not to mention the rest of their networks that push and pull on them. When you deliver maximum value to the entirety of your network it comes back to you amplified.

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