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I Hate Losing

by Doug Davidoff | Apr 12, 2012 5:40:00 AM

As many readers know, I coach college baseball. Last week the coaching staff got together because our team had hit little bit of a slump. We were trying to figure out why we had so much talent, but that talent wasn't translating into the results that we expected on the field.

As the conversation progressed, I couldn't help but get the déjà vu feeling that I had this conversation before, in the sales management arena. So often, too often for many small and mid-market companies, sales people who have talent and core ability to be extremely successful, yet they never meet their potential. This is a riddle that has confounded managers, trainers and consultants for years.

As we discussed the issue about the team, we came to the realization that not enough of the players truly hate to lose. And when I say hate to lose I don't just mean that they don't like losing, I mean hating to lose more than you enjoy winning.

Top performers in virtually any endeavor, share a common attribute – they loathe losing. Be it basketball, football, baseball, business or sales, top performers work hard, pay attention to the little things, learn and constantly improve because the feeling of a loss is simply detestable.

Everybody enjoys winning, and there are few people that I’ve met that dislike losing.  The question to ask when assessing your salespeople is just how much, and what, are they willing to do to stay out of the loss column.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how losing is part of the growth and success process.  Since that post, I’ve received a lot of feedback.  The vast majority of it has been absolutely on point and I’ve been excited to hear some of the stories that have been shared with me.

The post, however, is not an excuse to accept losing.  When interviewing, managing and motivating salespeople, be on the look out to determine which camp they fall in – the ones who just enjoy winning or the ones that abhor.