“I guess I just got lucky…”
How many times have you heard a sales person say this, or even said it yourself about a nice piece of business that they just landed. Or how many times have you heard a competing sales person describe someone else's success as "luck".
I know you've heard it, said it, or experienced it and I wanted to try to set the record straight. The problem is when good things happen and you blame it on "luck", it makes duplicating what happened again impossible. I think good things happen on purpose and unfortunately get blamed on "luck". Luck is also a convenient way to not take responsibility for the good things that happen to us (God forbid if it was anything other than luck someone might "expect" you to do it again).
Blaming success on luck is what we call a "non-supportive" belief. If you believe that luck drove your success there would be no reason to try to understand why you were successful and what activities led to your success. If success was truly driven by luck it would be a totally random event with circumstances outside of your control with a low likelihood of duplication. In sales, and many other elements of your life, this is simply not true.
Your good "luck" is driven by actions and sequences of events that you have more control over than you think! You need to change the way you think about success and realize that luck is not really part of your success formula. You create your own luck by managing activities that drive successful results.
So your new belief might include the following: My success is driven by applying the right activities to the right targets. Being able to identify the right activities and the right targets is really not that hard. Selling is a numbers game and the first activity that you have to manage is making the calls (telephone and in person). Not just calls for "calls" sake, but calls on qualified targets.
Identifying good targets can be as simple as looking at the types of companies that you (or your company) have succeeded with in the past. Another way is to identify "big users" of your products or services. Knowing that "luck" is not really part of your success formula, you can now look at the situations that you have managed to a successful result and try to find similarities in them.
Once you've identified similarities in situations where you win, you now have a "target" and can "search" for other targets with those similarities. If your greatest successes have come from a certain industry, or going up against a certain competitor focus on those opportunities. Until you spend some time analyzing your wins (win loss review) you won't know what you look for. So stop blaming success on luck and add to your "supportive" belief system. If, on the other hand, you really believe that "luck" is what drives your success stop reading this blog and buy a rabbits foot!
Action Step: Stop saying you were "lucky" when good things happen. Start thinking about what drove your success and duplicate both the activity and target selection process that has helped you succeed in the past. Do a "win" review and learn from your successes!