Persistence Over Greatness


You can’t win them all. Just ask the 2007 New England Patriots.They had a stellar 16-0 regular season, won both AFC playoffs, and then lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. The Miami Dolphins took it all in 1972 but then went 14-2 the following season. Still a great year of football, but a far cry from going undefeated.

The agony of defeat is something we all have to live with because we like to strive for greatness. If you’re a salesperson, you must face defeat five days a week. Prospects say no or clients cancel their contracts or don’t renew. It’s all a part of the game and you’ve got to move on.

But what if we didn’t strive for being persistently great and instead put our focus into being great at persistence?        

Here are a few examples:

Greatness: Winning every sale. Reality check: Not possible.
Persistence: Trying your hardest for every sale. Reality check: Tough, but will payout in the long run.

Greatness: Never failing. Reality check: Not possible.
Persistence: Learning from your mistakes and using them to improve yourself. Reality check: Humbling, but hopefully laughable in the near future.

Greatness: Seeing eye-to-eye with every client and prospect. Reality check: Not possible.
Persistence: Accepting your differences and learning to work with all types of personalities. Reality check: Being an awesome human being.

Greatness: Never dropping the ball. Reality check: Not possible.
Persistence: Creating new processes to make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice. Reality check: You’re going to drop the ball. Be humble; admit your mistakes.

Greatness: Having a strong, always-full pipeline. Reality check: Possible, but easily lost to the ebb and flow of the sales environment.
Persistence: Having a strong, almost-always-full pipeline. Reality check: Be ready for things to change with the wind and know how to rebuild your funnel quickly and efficiently.

In other words, don’t expect perfection from yourself. If you’re striving for perfection, you’re going to fail. Be human – rely on your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Don’t be persistently great…be great at being persistent.

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