By now, surely everyone has written their Super Bowl articles, drawing inspiration from the game, the comeback and the records to make their points. In my business, it’s rare when someone isn’t an optimist but I’m a realist and the realist in me kept saying how improbable it would be – even for Tom Brady and the Patriots – to come from that far behind and tie it – never mind win it – against a team as powerful as the Falcons. But the Falcons’ defense was not accustomed to staying on the field for such long stretches and after the Patriots finally tired them out, the Patriots were able to repeatedly drive down the field at will and claim the historic victory.
I read many articles and quotes after the game but the one that works best is a quote from 2016 Cy Young Award Winner, Rick Porcello. He said:
[When I find myself behind in baseball] There are two things you can do. You can think about how insurmountable it is to overcome or you can think about what you can control. That’s getting strike one on the next hitter and going from there.
I felt like there was a comparison there. [Brady’s] thought process and why he’s so good is that he’s able to slow those situations down and focus on the present and what’s in front of him. That’s really hard to do, especially in a game of that magnitude.
And of course, we can easily translate that into the language of sales.
Rick Porcello’s thoughts about the importance of slowing down in certain situations and focusing on the present apply to the following 10 sales and sales leadership scenarios. Slow down:
- When sales calls and meetings aren’t going as planned
- When an important account is making threats about leaving
- When a large opportunity is slipping away from you
- When your sales have fallen behind your forecast
- When you are conducting a discovery call with a new prospect
- When debriefing a salesperson on a recent sales call or meeting
- When you just heard what you wanted to hear, but you need to question it
- When you are qualifying an opportunity
- When you feel that you must blow up an opportunity
- When you feel like it’s time to bail out on an opportunity
Noah Goldman, Host of The Enterprise Sales Podcast, interviewed me about all of this today. Listen here.
Nurturing the ability to slow down on demand is one of the greatest skills you can develop. It goes hand in hand with patience. You can’t have too much and you can’t have too little.