When I was much younger I used to be a sprinter, and my distance was the 220 yard sprint, although I also ran the 100 yard race. These days of course, those races would be 200 and 100 metre races.
One of my lasting memories of this sport was my coach shouting, “Finish strong”, whether it was during training or while competing.
I have also been a soccer player for most of my life and it seems to have always been a popular phrase during training sessions.
The driving force for this sentiment is that races, and soccer games, are not over until everyone is done or the referee has blown the whistle. It is therefore critical that participants compete “through” the finish, and not “anticipate” the finish by easing up as the end approaches. A large number of races and games are won and lost right at that time! How many times have you seen a runner “pipped” at the post, or a game decided by a final play?
“Are you going to Finish Strong?” Nick Vujicic (of “No arms, no Legs no Worries” fame)
In the business world this same mentality applies to the sales profession, most particularly at this time of year. There is a strong motivation to ease up on the activity levels, to perhaps “cruise” through the final two weeks. We will tell ourselves that the clients are easing up, that they are not going to make spending decisions during late December or that they are more focused on things other than work.
We make excuses to focus on “busy work” or perhaps some personal activities.
We might socialize a little more with our more popular clients, which is not a bad thing as long as nothing is slipping as a result!
Just like those races and soccer games, it is very easy to lose because others are working hard when you are easing up!
I would suggest that this time of year, more than most, is a time for salespeople to work harder than ever. Here are five reasons why you need to Finish Strong!
SOME of your clients might slow down, but that means you have a better chance of getting their attention.
Some of your clients will have year end budget that they need to use.
Some of your clients will be planning for next year, and you can understand their needs early.
Some of your clients will have extra time, and this you can get face time easier than at other times.
For many of your clients it will be business as usual, so don’t miss your opportunities.
“It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. It is the hard that makes it great.” Jimmy Dugan
Don’t get caught out, push through to the very end … and then enjoy a little time off!