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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.

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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.

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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.

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Questions

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?

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Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 28, 2010

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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