As an avid football fan, I am amazed at Tom Brady’s incredible performance week after week in a sport where the average career for most professional players is just 2.5 years (Chron.com). Athletes in the quarterback position average about 3 years on the playing field. Brady’s phenomenal success in one of the most competitive environments in the world holds valuable lessons for mortgage bankers who want to win in 2022.
Brady’s history is well-known. In 2000, he was the 199th draft pick for the New England Patriots. That means 198 other football players were viewed as having more talent. Since then, Brady has led two different teams to the ultimate victory, capturing a total of six Super Bowl titles. His accomplishments have elevated him to G.O.A.T. Perhaps more astonishing is that the 44-year-old Brady is still competing at the highest levels – and winning – long after many of his teammates have retired.
Everyone wants to know, “How does he do it? Does he have a genetic gift that most mortals don’t possess?” The answer lies in something any player CAN possess but many don’t fully commit to. What is it?
In her recent Washington Post article, Sally Jenkins noted that Brady’s longevity is a product of having better habits than other football players. What? Good habits? Yes!
In previous interviews, Brady confided, “I wasn’t born a prodigy, like a 3-year-old the world bestowed greatness on.” He was drafted near the end of the pro draft which confirms that his arm strength and foot speed weren’t great.
Jenkins observed that while Brady’s physical skills were less than impressive early on, he continually puts in the work every day to succeed in the long-term. Brady explained, “the more good behaviors you have, the better things turn out. It’s just, do people have the discipline to repeat those behaviors? That’s the tricky part.”
Oftentimes, Brady’s training is tedious and monotonous such as running sprints repeatedly. As behavioral scientists point out, when the daily reward is so small, many people lose interest and fail to continue their efforts even when they know they should if they want to succeed.
This all boils down to understanding that the worth of an activity can’t be judged by how it makes a person feel today, but needs to be viewed with a long-term perspective.
Selling success requires a similar commitment to “get better every day” by learning something new and practicing the habits that separate top originators from average or sub-par sales professionals.
It is easy to say I will do it tomorrow or when things slow down or when I have more money to invest in training. But here’s the reality: improving your selling skills doesn’t happen by chance. It doesn’t happen after attending a sales rally or listening to a motivational speaker. It takes a personal commitment to move the needle on your sales skills and improve on a daily basis.
As a trainer, I often see managers and students looking for a quick fix for performance issues. Spoiler alert: There isn’t one. The truth is selling is hard. It’s a business that’s always changing and requires professionals to stay up to date and practice new skills. Learning new techniques, keeping pace with the science of selling and understanding the buyer’s journey requires a lifetime of knowledge and establishing and practicing good habits. There is no other way around it. Relying on what worked yesterday is a direct path to becoming irrelevant.
In her article, Jenkins recounts one of my favorite stories about Tom Brady:
“In the spring of 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus, Brady participated in the Match II, the made-for-TV golf exhibition with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in Florida. It was hot and raining. Nevertheless, a couple of hours before tee-off, Charles Barkley saw Brady in the parking lot of the golf club. He was running sprints. ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Barkley said.
‘I’m trying to win a Super Bowl,’ Brady replied.”
What are you doing today to win your personal Super Bowl?