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Determination in sales: Lessons from sports

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Determination in sales: Lessons learned from Watford and Wolverhampton’s FA Cup semi-final

All sales professionals need determination and perseverance, not only to get a foot in the door of a good firm but to continue developing their skills throughout their career. Such qualities require development and sometimes a little inspiration, and thankfully there is plenty of the latter all around us demonstrating exactly how rewarding determination and perseverance can be.

Sport is often an excellent source of such inspiration, with this season’s recent FA Cup semi-final between Watford and Wolverhampton Wanderers being a fine example.

With just eleven minutes of the game left, Watford were 2-0 down and heading out of the cup.

But they kept going, kept trying, and managed to score twice before the end to level the game up and take it to extra time. The equalising goal even came four minutes into stoppage time, literally just seconds away from the final whistle and long after many might have given up and believed the game had been lost.

Professional Perseverance is Key to Success

To complete the remarkable comeback, Watford scored a third and winning goal in extra time to earn themselves a place in the FA Cup Final.

They never stopped trying, with Watford striker Andre Gray remarking afterwards:

“There was no doubt in our minds that we were going to go on and win it. We were all egging each other on. We all knew that this was our time.”

“We didn’t score in the last minute for no reason.”

Indeed, that reason was the pure perseverance, the unmatched grit and willpower, that urged the Watford players on even though all seemed lost with just seconds left of the game.

Similarly, sales professionals must strive to maintain such a positive attitude and the belief that they will succeed in the end.

Developing Determination as a Mindset

A mindset of strong determination is something that must be developed, as Andre Gray noted himself after setting up the winning goal for his team during extra time:

“It is not always plain sailing. Sometimes it is about digging in there.”

Having to ‘dig in there’ is certainly something that many experienced sales professionals will relate to. There will be moments when things do not go exactly as hoped, but it is in these moments that you must show that determination and perseverance to keep going, to keep trying and make it work out in the end.

There may be adjustments to your approach or style that are needed as well and being able to identify these is all part of developing into a high-level sales professional.

The football example even serves here as well, as Watford manager Javi Gracia chose a starting eleven that did not include one of his most creative players, Gerard Deulofeu.

Instead, he picked a different line-up he thought better suited to take on these particular semi-final opponents. Four minutes after his team went 2-0 down and according to the manager, “Everything seemed lost”, he rectified his mistake by bringing Deulofeu on as a substitute, who promptly scored two wonderful goals to first get his team back in the game and then ultimately win it for them.

If you are a sales professional, then it is exactly this determination and perseverance along with the ability to continually adjust and improve that our ongoing training and development can provide.

Like Gerard Deulofeu, you can learn and develop the skills to keep hitting your targets again and again.

If you’re looking to make your next career move in sales, contact Amoria Bond today to discuss our sales career opportunities and the possibility of working for a dynamic recruitment agency that takes pride in helping every member of our team succeed.

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