I am a confessed Olympics Junkie.

For the past seventeen days, I have been glued to my computer, TV, and cell phone…getting the very latest updates on the 2012 Summer Olympics. It has been thrilling, stimulating, contagious, and downright fun.

We all cheer on our favorite athletes…we cheer on the athletes who demolish the competition…we cheer the underdog athletes who come from behind and conquer their longstanding arch-nemesis…and we especially cheer the athletes who overcome a physical adversity to compete at this level. No matter the sport, the country, or the athlete, we are all infatuated with the symbolism of the Olympics!

What if our approach to sales were this invigorating!

Demolish the competition.

Conquer a competitor.

Overcome adversity.

What would we have to do to get that gold medal enthusiasm in sales competition? No, we wouldn’t have to work out, but we sure would have to do something quite similar to physical exercise. We’d have to practice!

To have a sense of accomplishment in sales, we’d have to have the right mindset to want to learn new techniques…innovative moves and countermoves…and, sparkling finishes, like Gabby Douglas’s perfect landing coming off the uneven bars!

We are constantly learning, so learning about ourselves is the first step to recognizing what our strengths are and how we can work towards achieving our specific individual goals. Once we achieve that understanding, we can move on to creating a path for success.

So, how do we get there? Here are a few Olympic-ish steps:

1)      Warm up
Warm up by reading some books on sales, attending a seminar or two, or even watching some videos on YouTube. There are several sales resources out there, but there are only one or two styles that will enable you to feel comfortable enough to give it a shot. Mix and match techniques from the gurus, and find your own personal flair.

2)      Stretch it out

Once you have found the style of sales that feels comfortable, stretch it out and give it a whirl. Go to a chamber event; attend a community function or even an industry-related meeting. Try your new-found sales techniques and measure the reaction. You’ll be able to gauge whether or not your audience is responsive or repelled.

3)      Give it your best effort

I saw a golf-related, framed print in an agent’s office not too long ago. It read, “Nothing beats a miss but a try.” Basically, you won’t know if your new-found sales approach works unless you give it your best shot. If you give it a mediocre attempt, then you’ll get mediocre results.

4)      Duplicate your efforts

Once you have your first sales success and start hitting your stride, keep duplicating your efforts. Practice, practice, practice.

5)      Warm down

During some downtime, read another book, watch another video, or attend another seminar. Keep up with the latest and greatest trends in sales. There is always someone out there who thinks they have all of the answers to sales training, and there will always be another book, seminar, or video to watch.

Just remember, these sales suggestions from the supposed “sales gurus” are not always your answers. You just need to absorb what you learn and make those multiple recommendations your very own style.

The Olympics comes to our living rooms, our computers, and cell phones every four years, and athletes who are training for those Olympics are keeping fit all year round. Expectations are great for these athletes…same thing goes for consistent sales research, sales training, and sales execution. We can never be as good as we want to be unless we exercise.

Remember, “Nothing beats a miss but a try.”

Your gold medal awaits!

Steve Shepherd

About Steve Shepherd


Steve’s entire career has been focused on helping companies to increase sales. He has sold, managed, trained and coached sales and sales management with noteworthy results. Steve’s results-oriented, highly interactive style has the ability to increase sales for many companies statewide. He makes sure the workshops are productive, interactive, and, above all, fun.