3 Secrets of High Performance Selling

High performance. You know it when you see it. It's one of those stories you can tell a dozen times and still be excited each time.

It's captivating to watch. More of an experience than just an event or an occasion.

Remember this one?

Warren Moon and the Oilers had the 1993 NFL Playoffs in hand when, two minutes into the third quarter, the score was 35-3. A complete blow-out. With a depleted Buffalo offense (Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas were both injured), the Bills had little chance to win this game. That is, until the Bill's backup quarterback, Frank Reich, began an unthinkable series of amazing plays.

With the score 35-10, Buffalo recovered an onside kick and Reich threw a 38-yard bomb to Don Beebe to make it 35-17. It didn't stop there. Five unanswered Reich touchdowns put the Bills up, but at the last minute, the Oilers tied it up with a field goal. In overtime, Nate Odomes picked off Warren Moon to set up the most improbable of victories and the greatest NFL comeback in history.

Final score: 41-38 for the Bills.

High performance?

Most of us don't know how to describe it any other way.

Is it a comeback? an underdog story? pure passion? The truth is that it looks like a lot of things.

That's why it can be so hard to explain.  Even harder to do.  Which brings us back to selling -- high performance selling.

What is high performance selling? And how can you do it?

Here are some observations for you about high performance selling:

* You are baking a cake not scoring a touchdown.

Not sure how to say it any other way.

This applies to anything you do.  By now you probably have all the the right ingredients.  You know how to build rapport.  How to qualify your prospect.  How to close the deal.  You have a recipe that you go to for your selling process.

If you don't already have the basics of the selling process then you need to go grab a brand new book by my friend, Jill Konrath, that comes out in a few days -- SNAP Selling(And, by the way, I am in no way paid anything to heartily recommend that book to you).

Here's the key thing to remember -- you are creating art.  You're aren't grabbing a ball and running as fast as you can for the end zone.  There are factors outside of your control that require you to adapt.  You need to recognize that.  And even if you ace the baking part (don't burn out), you still have to add your own icing to what you create.  You have to make it your own.

Now, here are three secrets of high performance selling:

1.  Failure starts to look more like success.

When you fail and it starts to look like success to your peers, you know that you are a high performance seller.

Look.  Let's get real frank, real fast.  Life isn't a competition with anyone other than the rock star that you were intended to be. If you think that I am advocating that you look around and compare yourself to anyone else, you are dead wrong.

You know better than that already.  That's a complete waste of time.

Here is what I trying to say.  High performers look at failure as a step closer to success.  It's not an act.  It's a way of life.

Rejection and loss are not end points.  They are guideposts.

High performance selling requires the discipline to look at each opportunity and say "What could I have done differently?".  Here's a reality -- some times there is nothing you could have done better.  (But I haven't had one of those moment's yet.) I have always found 3-4 (to a dozen) tiny mistakes that all contributed to my failure.

It was by adjusting and relaunching that I was able to turn that failure into outrageous success.

Master your failures.

2.  Extreme behavior is expected activity.

You have to know going in that it's going to be rough.  Rougher and tougher than anything you have ever allowed yourself to imagine before.

There is a reason that we call this the top 1%.

The air is thin at the top.  And not because your nose is out of joint.  Because you are pumping your knees so hard you can barely breathe.

You have to be ready to work harder than you ever imagined (and then double that).

Listen, you can lead a balanced life by working a  guaranteed 35 hours a week at Target.  You will have plenty to time for all your hobbies without the stress of having to change the world.  But high performance requires working smarter and harder - both.

You need extreme:

  • Effort -- you put in more value, more passion than anyone...
  • Creativity -- you care more, about your prospect, about your ability to provide a solution ...
  • Discipline -- you don't let your immediate feelings stop you from realizing your long-term goals...

In this age of tolerance and equality, it is almost heresy to suggest that you need to be different.  That's the only path to high performance selling.

There is no other way.

3. It starts (and stops) in your mind.

You can only achieve what you believe.  The battle for high performance is won long before you ever go through the motions of winning.  It's all in your head.

Your dreams. Your fears.  They are all part of what you will ever achieve.  High performers think about high performance.

It's that simple.  They think, they obsess, they plan for high performance selling.

  • They don't fear -- they act.
  • They  don't wonder -- they discover.
  • They don't doubt -- they try.

It's a fundamental difference between those who envy and those who are.

It's all in your head long before it ever happens.

And because that is all that is in your head -- no fears, no doubts, no questions -- that is all you have time to act on.  And what a powerful difference that makes.

You truly are invincible. You are a high performance seller.

Remember Frank Reich we talked about earlier?

He actually had a history of high performance.

Reich was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round (57th overall) in the 1985 NFL Draft. The Bills already had drafted future Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1983 and when Kelly signed with the Bills in 1986, Reich's only option was as backup QB. Reich got his first start only Kelly went down with a shoulder injury in 1989 -- after more than three years of only playing a supporting role.

And he took advantage of the opportunity.  In front of a Rich Stadium crowd of more than 76,000 fans and a Monday Night Football audience, Reich led the Bills to two straight victories. He rallied the Bills in the fourth quarter by throwing two drives down the field for a 23-20 victory over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

Reich returned the following season, however, when Kelly was injured again late in the season. Reich provided the Bills with another two key wins, clinching them the AFC East title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

He is now a coach for the Indianapolis Colts where he expects high performance from the quarterback he trains - Peyton Manning.

What about you?  Is it time for some high performance selling?