The Superbowl of Life
by Joe Bonura, CSP
From Top To Bottom
I watched Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lose in
overtime play in the 2009 National Football League wild card
playoff game. The loss came a few days after Peyton was
declared NFL offensive player of the year. The same fate
befell Matt Ryan, of the Atlanta Falcons, who lost to the
Arizona Cardinals a few days after Ryan was named rookie
quarterback of the year.
Winners Lose Too
This proves that winners lose too. I am sure that both Peyton
Manning and Matt Ryan will be back next year to play again.
Real winners learn from their defeats, and they move forward,
while losers quit and give up. Manning and Ryan are real
winners for sure.
It Is Not Always Easy
After a shaky start to the 2008 season, Peyton's team lost the
wild card playoff game after a nine-game winning streak. The
same principles that govern winners in sports could also govern
winners in sales. No matter how successful we may be on a given
day, the opposite could happen on another day. The secret is to
not give up, but to keep going, when the going is not easy. The
easiest thing to do is to give up, but abandoning your goal
leads to an unfulfilled life and career.
When Lightning Strikes
Anyone can sail in calm seas, but not everyone can sail when
the wind starts to blow, the sun is blotted out by dark clouds,
and the lightning strikes. Such was the scenario when the
San Diego Chargers struck the Indianapolis Colts to win the
There Is Always Tomorrow
Do winners feel the disappointment? Sure they do. The
difference between a winner and a loser is that winners
learn from their failures and move forward to the next
season, or the next sales call--as sales superstars do.
Next Time Is Now
What do you suppose Peyton will be doing during the off-season?
He will be watching the ill-fated-game film to determine better
play strategies, so that next time, he will be better prepared.
You should do the same thing every time you lose a sale. Look
at the game film in your mind's eye, and consider ways that you
can be better prepared next time. You can call that lost
prospect and ask for advice on improvements to your sales
approach, and they will be more than happy to help.
A Year To Remember
You should also remember that sometimes, no matter how good a
job you do, you may still lose. That happened to me back in
1978, a year I will always remember, when I owned and operated
one of the most successful advertising agencies in Kentucky.
We dedicated ourselves to the success of one of our clients,
a client that represented 70% of our business. Although we
were good at what we did and we helped our client succeed and
compete in a very tough industry, the client decided that they
needed a change.
Life Is Fair
We were invited to compete with five other advertising agencies
to keep the account; we gave a powerful presentation; and yet,
the client decided to go with another agency. My first reaction
was that life is not fair. I spent a few days mourning the
Stick Your Neck Out
I finally decided that I was not getting anywhere by fretting
over the loss, and that I would stick my neck out of my
self-imposed shell and move forward. I began making more
sales calls than I had ever made in my life, and within a
few months, we obtained some new business and moved forward
again. Are you mourning the slow economy, or are you taking
action to change the slow economy?
Retool And Refocus
W. Clement Stone said, "In every adversity, there is the seed
of a greater or equivalent benefit." Because of the loss of
our largest account, we retooled and refocused, and within five
years, we were the second largest advertising agency in
Win The Super Bowl
We lost the playoffs and won the Super Bowl for one reason:
We did not give up. You lose only when you quit. As long as
you keep trying, you will get results. In a slow, stalled, or
bad economy, there are always people who have money to spend
and people who need what you have to offer.
Take A Lesson From Macy's
I was shopping at Macy's, and the store was full of shoppers
in spite of this slow economy because they were responding
to Macy's advertising and marketing. If Macy's had not
aggressively pursued customer business, the store would
not have been full of shoppers.
Step Back To Move Forward
Stop licking your wounds. Step back and observe where you
are in your business and question what you can do today to
take positive action toward your goals. If you do not have
goals, it is time that you make some New Year commitments for
2009. Peyton and Matt are getting ready for a comeback in
next year's NFL season. You should do the same for building
© 2008 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.