The hottest topic in the Philly area is the performance of the Taney Dragons, an inner city youth baseball team that made it to the Little League World Series. They are bigger news than all our other professional teams, which is saying a lot. The team’s pitcher, 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis has captured national attention for her pitching skills. She throws 70 mph fast balls, which is equivalent to 90 mph in the big leagues. The fact that her team has risen to the top in a sport that has 70,000 participants is incredible. But it wasn’t luck or some fluke that made it happen for Davis and her teammates. It was hard work. Whether they win the title or not isn’t the important lesson we can learn from these youngsters, but their devotion to the sport that they have chosen to play. Managers and originators could learn from them.
Previously, the Taney Dragons played in the local playoffs and were beaten. The coach and the players decided to refocus their efforts and get better. The team rented a warehouse in the off-season and practiced hitting and playing skills.
The bottomline is that success is rarely a chance event but a series of choices on improving. The same applies to managing and selling skills. If you want better results, the first step is to commit to improving. No one can make that choice for you. It is an individual decision that requires a long-term view of what skills are needed to be successful in a career. Too often, I see sales personnel hoping for the old days. The failure to recognize that time marches on and what worked in the past won’t work now is the beginning of the end for these types of individuals.
In a great book by Jill Konrath, Agile Selling, she observes that what makes successful sales people is their commitment to improving: “ Every top seller is an agile learner who knows what it takes to dive into a new situation and figure it out quickly.”
Want to achieve better sales results? Take a page from the Taney Dragons’ playbook and commit to be better. Practice the sales skills you need to succeed and there’s no reason why you can’t be one of the industry’s best.