Saturday, January 09, 2010

Playing to Win

I really like to win. (And I was really pulling for TCU and UT in their bowl games this week, even though I went to Texas A&M). Notice I didn't say, "I hate to lose."

Recently I read the phrase, "Play to win. Don't play NOT to lose." According to Robert Caldini in his book INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion, people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something rather than gaining something of equal value. For example, homeowners are more likely to insulate their homes when they are told how much money they could lose from inadequate insulation vs. being told how much money they can save from adding insulation. This got me to thinking that there 2 types of sales people.

"Playing NOT to lose" sales people look like this:

  • Doing things that hurt your company just so you won't lose a customer.

  • According to Brad Isaac in his Persistence Unlimited blog if you say to yourself “I have to do ____ or else____ will happen,” then you are playing not to lose & subsequently focusing on losing.

  • Playing it safe and letting fear guide you.

  • Hoping your competitor will mess up instead of planning for every angle in the sales process.

"Playing to win" sales people look like this:
  • Agreements benefit both parties.

  • You trust your skills, talents and knowledge and use them confidently to win the business.

  • You are not afraid of losing, you are afraid of not being able to provide your customer with the solution they need."

  • You think of ways to thrill your customers rather than satisfy them.
In other words, you can play NOT to lose by playing it safe, doing what is expected and hoping for your competitors to mess up. Or you can play to win by using your arsenal of skills and talents to win customers and impress your competitors.

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