<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=577820730604200&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

As children you were encouraged to play sports and games. You were taught to compete. Unless your profession is something as rare as professional sports, as you grow older you learn that results are almost always easier to obtain through cooperation. You learn that life is not a zero sum game. You learn that you can create win-win outcomes. Competitiveness is seen as a negative characteristic, a negative attribute.

But competitiveness is not a negative attribute. It’s a powerfully positive attribute that all successful people share. Especially because sales is a zero sum game.


Sales Is A Zero Sum Game

As a salesperson, you must be competitive because sales is a zero sum game. If you are competing for your dream client’s business, either you will win the business or your competitor will win the business. One of you will win, the other will surely lose. To win, you have to be competitive. You have to love a good fight. You have to want to win over your rivals.

Competitiveness manifests itself in your beliefs and behaviors. It shows up as your belief that you can win a deal. It shows up as your drive to engage in the competition for opportunities,  and as the strong drive to take action. It shows up in your desire to study and understand your competitor’s weaknesses and then to exploit those weaknesses.

It shows up as a your conviction and your  passion to succeed. It shows up in the actions that you take to create more value than anybody else would dream of. It’s heart. It’s spirit.

New call-to-action

Your dream clients see your competitiveness, your conviction, and your passion as your strong desire to obtain their business. They recognize that the person that competes aggressively is worth having on their team, because they too are engaged in a zero sum game. They want someone that will help them produce results and help them compete and win in their space.

Most importantly, your competitiveness manifests itself as a strong desire to win. Your natural desire to win drives you to take action, to continue to fight.

Wanting to Win Is Not Enough

Competitiveness is not simply wanting to win. Everybody wants to win. Wanting to win is a lot like hoping to win. It isn’t action-oriented. It doesn’t mean that you’ll move Heaven and Earth to win the deal. Competitiveness borders on “having to win.” Even the most competitive salesperson won’t win every deal. But they will try like Hell. And they will keep trying.

NOTE: Competitiveness is not aggressive behavior towards other human beings. It contains an element of sportsmanship and fair play. It doesn’t mean that we are not obligated to create win-win agreements with our prospects and clients . . . it means we compete for the right to create those win-win agreements.



Are you too comfortable losing deals?

Are you competitive enough? Do you love a god fight?

Do you believe you can win and act in accordance with those beliefs? Am you taking action?

Do your customers and prospects know that you will bring your competitive passion to ensuring they get the outcomes I promise?


Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 28, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. He is the author of four books on the modern sales approach, one book on sales leadership, and his latest book called The Negativity Fast releases on 10.31.23. Anthony posts daily content here at TheSalesBlog.com.
ai-cold-calling-video-sidebar-offer-1 Sales-Accelerator-Virtual-Event-Bundle-ad-square

Are You Ready To Solve Your Sales Challenges?


Hi, I’m Anthony. I help sales teams make the changes needed to create more opportunities & crush their sales targets. What we’re doing right now is working, even in this challenging economy. Would you like some help?

Solve for Sales

Join my Weekly Newsletter for Sales Tips

Join 100,000+ sales professionals in my weekly newsletter and get my Guide to Becoming a Sales Hustler eBook for FREE!