I was recently in conversation with a friend who shares my interest in business. This is a friend that has had a number of “wins” in a short career, and thus I appreciate any time I can pick his brain about how he pursues growth both professionally and personally. As is the case every time we talk, my friend and I were recounting some of the recess successes we had both enjoyed over the last year, and he gave me a piece of advice that has resonated with me since our conversation. He told me “immediately after you close your first big deal and the check is in the bank, you need to step on the gas and get as much new business as possible. Don’t let up for, even for a second.”
Working in sales is tough. You get hung up on often and just getting a meeting sometimes seems more difficult than climbing a mountain, but if your process is honest then results will follow. By the time a large client decides to make a purchase, or a big deal is finally closed, it is very easy to feel exhausted and accomplished, or to feel like you deserve a break. The only way to overcome the sense of accomplishment is by stepping on the gas.
What my friend was telling me, and what I wholeheartedly agree with, is that you do not deserve a break. A win is a platform for more wins. Closing a deal is not an invitation for lethargy, it is an indication that there is more to come if you remain persistent. Stepping on the gas means you keep putting in the hours as before you closed your deal. And when you close another deal, step on the gas even harder. With each new deal you win, your success builds upon itself. By forcing yourself to work harder, you leave no time to squander the spoils of your most recent victory. In his book Good to Great Jim Collins talks about the “flywheel”. Think of your first win as a monumental push on the flywheel, and every day without another sale is just slowing the flywheel down.