The Deal of the Art (Success by the Numbers)

When you face the numbers, the statistics, behind success and failure, you come to understand that one can not exist without the other.

Allow me to use an analogy of a simple deck of cards to help prove the point.

54 card deck (standard with 2 Jokers)

4 Aces – Great high volume/return clients.

4 Kings – Good medium level clients.

4 Queens – Great looking medium to high level clients. String you along, taking months of time & emotion, then go with competitor.

4 Jacks – Good low level clients. After 1 year, One Eyed Jacks give you a referral to 1-2 Aces.

2 Jokers – Low to medium level clients (relative of a friend, or maybe a friend of a relative). Complains at every opportunity, returns products without good reason, changes orders at last second while saying how much they really want to ‘favor’ you with their business.

So out of 54 sit down appointments you get 12 benefits, 6 heartbreaks and 36 negatives. Of course this does not count the numbers/percentages that it takes to get those sit down appointments. This is the reality of getting new business, customers or clients. More businesses and salespeople fail for lack of NEW BUSINESS than for any other reason.

Ok, knowing this up front should give you what you need to win through, right? Unfortunately the numbers do not reflect the power the negatives & heartbreaks have on self confidence. At first blush the positive person says: Hey that’s almost 1 out of 4. I can DO that. No doubt. But what are the chances they will fall in that way?

Do this test for yourself. Get a deck of cards with 2 Jokers, shuffle and deal them out, one by one. Record the results for yourself. Are there any times you get a run of 8-10-12 bad ones? Sure there are. What happens to the ego if after say, 8 no’s you then get 2 Queens in a row followed by a Joker? Can’t happen? Don’t kid yourself.

So how does anyone make it? Several things become of paramount importance. The most important being a solid belief in yourself, and a good self image. Do you KNOW in the core of your being, that a NO is not a reflection on you? Many may look at this and think they can weather the struggles without difficulty. And perhaps, for a week or two, but after a month or two, or more? In all honesty – some can. But they are few. Why?

After all, the numbers aren’t that overwhelming. For those tempted to think that way, a warning. The 54 card deck is only an illustration. Yet it is an apt analogy – to a point. It breaks down as very shortsighted when compared with reality. In ‘real life’ it is a deck of 54, followed by another deck of 54, followed by another, and another, etc. Meaning? That the run of negative 8-10-12 long can be followed immediately by another run of 8-10-12 or more. The percentages hold true, but as an ongoing process it becomes rather daunting since probabilities only work with big numbers over a long time.

Ok, so you start out with that good self image – how can you possibly keep it strong? At least stronger than the negatives?

Start by realizing that negative drains you, so you need to keep refilling that attitude. Read positive, uplifting books DAILY. Listen to motivational seminars (and books) on tape, cd, or MP3 instead of the radio. Seek out positive seminars & training that is available for you to attend. As much as possible, limit your associations to people who believe in you and reinforce your self image. Join or start a Mastermind Group of like minded, forward thinking people.

Finally, the two things that were most important to me personally. First, my faith in God. Knowing that I was doing something fair & ethical, I knew that I was on His side. Also, I knew that worldly failure had nothing to do with my actual worth. Second, I had the wholehearted support of my wife. If I stumbled, she was there with an arm, if I fell, she offered reassurance and a hand up. And when I did get hurt, there was a caring shoulder to cry on, and encouragement for the future.

It all boils done to this…..Are you willing to fail? Many automatically say no to that. But the question should be rephrased. Are you willing to fail, in order to learn to succeed?

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2 Responses to The Deal of the Art (Success by the Numbers)

  1. Eric says:

    Now that article definitely hit home!

    I recently (6 months ago) changed careers and for the first time in my life became a full time salesman.

    A run of 8-12 no’s in a row is far more common than you stated but so are strings of 2,3 or 4 yes’s in a row.

    I think the daily intake if the positive and motivational is a MUST if you want to have any kind of long term success in sales. Without it you cannot camel out the negative that you have to wade through each day.

    Great stuff…keep up the awesome work!

  2. SofW says:

    Thanks for the input Eric. The numbers are going to be unique in different areas, but I think that the idea holds solidly. My intent is simply to make people aware that you need to expect the negatives, but that the plus side – the ‘good new clients’ are every bit as sure to come as the ‘Jokers.’ We control only our effort. We can tweak our methods to improve the percentages but there is always some negative coming our way. Failure is the stepping stone to success.

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