Sacrifice, Selling & Vince Lombardi
The following story is taken from What It Takes To Be #1 by Vince Lombardi, Jr. In this book, Vince Lombardi’s son shares lessons on life he learned from his father. Lombardi Rule #4 can easily be applied to sales and the sacrifices salespeople must be willing to make to succeed.
Lombardi Rule #4 says:
Be prepared to sacrifice. Sacrifice and self-denial lie behind every success.
When Lombardi first got to Green Bay, he found what he considered to be a lackadaisical attitude rampant among the players. After the first day of practice, he was completely discouraged. What could he do to turn this team around?
When he walked into the training room the next morning, he found it full of players getting treatment for a variety of minor ailments. He snapped. “Get this straight!” he barked. “When you’re hurt, you have every right to be in here. When you’re hurt, you’ll get the best medical attention we can provide. We’ve got too much money invested in you to think otherwise.”
“But this has got to stop. This is disgraceful. I have no patience with the small hurts that are bothering most of you. You’re going to have to learn to live with small hurts and play with small hurts if you’re going to play for me. Now I don’t want to see this again!” And for the most part, he didn’t.
In this economy, we have a lot of mental pain. Some of that emotional turmoil might have even converted to physical pain. But the best of us will remember that any success requires constant improvement and the willingness to play with small hurts. That means increasing cold calls when the reaction of clients are even colder, making follow-up calls when you’d rather be golfing, networking on an evening you wish you could be watching television at home. Follow Coach Lombardi’s guidance and tell yourself that small hurts aren’t going to stop you, they won’t stop you, they can’t stop you.
I’ve noticed that sometimes the best time to “keep going” is when others are giving up. It always gave me a distinct advantage in sales, and it’s something I need to remember on the days when I let small hurts keep me down.