It’s not a perfect analogy, but there are some similarities worth noting:
You don’t wake up in October and hope to win an election the next month. And you sure don’t stumble on prospects who are ready to buy next week. You start early in both cases, working your prospects well before you expect them to convert. The earlier you’re able to build relationships, trust and rapport, the more likely those same prospects are to work with you when it comes time to decide.
Build a community
You need more than just your own charms and value to sell, or to win. You need those around you, and around your prospects. The better you understand and build value with the prospect’s ecosystem, and with the community that surrounds and supports you as well, the stronger your bonds and ability to convert.
Choose your partners wisely
Who sells for you? Who represents you in the field? Who do you choose as your running mate, your channel partners? These aren’t decisions to be taken lightly.
Respect the competition
They want to win too. They’re smart, they’re focused, they’re innovating. They will sell against you the same as you sell against them. Respect them.
Focus on the issues
Your prospects don’t care about inside baseball. They barely care about you. Their issues are your issues. Their problems are your problems. Focus there, exclusively there.
You will need to be spontaneously most of the time in front of your prospects and constituents, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t prepared. If you walk into a sales presentation or a debate or a speaking opportunity unprepared, without having practiced extensively – for your proactive message as well as the audience questions – your competition will surely beat you.
Put your hard hat on every day
It doesn’t come easy. It may look easy, occasionally, for some, but don’t let that deceive you. It’s hard work. Every day. And every small victory is followed by an early wake-up call and another full day of hard work. That’s what it takes to win.
Curious to hear what you think, and what I missed.