She finally did it. Danica Patrick became the first women ever to win at Indy Car. Many thought she never would and never could. And she was criticized constantly for being nothing more than a sex symbol in a car. In fact, she was accused of using her sex appeal to gain attention, not her driving skills.
So what can sales professionals learn from Danica?
1) Persistence. It took Danica 4 years of racing to win. How long do you work with a prospect before you give up?
Would you have worked on a prospect for 4 years to get a sale? Most sales people I meet give up after 4 voice mails – let alone working on the relationship for 4 years before a sale.
At Engage we have people on our newsletter list, who have received free information from us for years before they buy anything. I don’t give up on them ever. Why? Because people buy when they are ready to buy. Sometimes its takes years to nurture a lead, sometimes prospects buy right away. You can’t force urgency on people who have no immediate need.
Persistence and discipline are the two most common missing traits of sales people. Sadly they are the two traits most critical to being in the top 10%. Setting up an automated follow up system (such as a newsletter) is one way to easily become more persistent with your leads.
2) Immune to criticism. Despite being lambasted for over using her good looks, compared to Anna Kournikova, and Ti Domi as the “the pretty ones with no wins”, Danica never stopped doing what she knew was right for her brand, and her team. Likely she removed the detractors from her camp, and ensured her relationships were supportive relationships.
In sales, the most successful you get, the more criticism comes your way. Its called jealousy. The best way to get rid of it, is to develop an immunity from negativity by reminding yourself that the sources are less successful than you – trust me, criticism rarely comes from those making more than you – and eventually removing those life suckers from your life. Yes, I am suggesting you find new friends.
Congratulations Danica. I hope that all sales reps learn from your experiences and exceptional discipline and go out to close 1 extra sales today!
Dedicated to increasing your sales,