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Win in challenging times through tough practice

Win in challenging times through tough practice

October 12, 2022

Former NBA star Alan Iverson was known for some famous quotes in addition to his skill on the basketball court. One of my favorites, albeit lesser-known, is: “When you are not practicing, someone else is getting better.”

I like to think of sales as a competitive sport. Top salespeople are akin to great athletes in that they get to the pinnacle of achievement through years of hard work, experience, and PRACTICE. They train—because they know if they don’t, their competitors who DO train are going to beat them in the marketplace.

However, that message is getting lost in today’s world of near-instant gratification. I am all for working smart so that you get what you want quicker, but I’m also for working hard. Working hard IS smart.

Look around with an honest eye, and you will see that Americans are getting soft. The old American work ethic is getting lost and that hurts us all.

My belief is that everyone’s best shot at upward mobility is to work on skills that can make them successful in business and life. And that leads me back to training.

HARD training, not mere natural ability, wins more often than not. I’m talking David Goggins-style training. If you don’t know who that is, please take a few minutes to watch this video—it will motivate you.


Imagine if you and your sales team had this kind of mindset! You’d achieve more revenue than you’ve ever dreamed of and everyone from your customers to your family would prosper. Great, high-pressure training can bring this about.

There’s so much to learn, including:

  • Prospecting and marketing methods
  • CRM
  • Presentation and handling objections
  • Closing skills
  • Setting targets and goals
  • Building a referral-based business
  • Mindset and personal performance growth
  • Social media
  • Time management
  • Role playing
  • Etc.

My beef with most training is that it is too soft. You get your donuts, open up your workbook, and look at your watch in anticipation of the next break (and donut). High-pressure training, with extensive role play and real-life application, produces much better outcomes.

Proper, tough training will be even more important in the coming months as we are widely expected to enter a painful recession. If you and your sales team aren’t training hard to be as competitive as possible, your business might be in for a world of hurt. On the flip side, a little discipline now could mean great rewards regardless of what the Fed does or doesn’t do to affect the economy.

And another thing—even if you are good, you STILL need to practice. A top sales rep I know reported THREE President’s Club-level, elite salespeople in his network who were laid off this week. The moral of the story is: if you don’t produce more than you consume, meaning 3x your compensation, you are ripe to die. Since those around you are always trying to get better, your survival requires constant improvement achievable only through training.

Competition is good. It produces many of the great things we have in society. Be soft with your spouse. Your kids. Your friends. For everything else, dig into you and your people’s inner toughness and discipline to stretch out of the comfort zone and rise higher.

Practice hard, take risks and DARE TO BE GREAT!

And encourage your sales team to do the same.

(Need help with a sales training program? Reach out to me at shaun@volohaus.com)