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Make Your Own Luck

26th Aug 2014

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We’ve all been there; the big deal’s just sitting there ready to drop. The month’s looking great when this bad boy lands, maybe even the whole quarter… just imagine when it’s all closed, the glory! This will definitely mean president’s club, top of the sales board probably... at last the phone rings, it’s the client. Knuckles are cracked, the phone is answered, “heeeeello!” Joyfully exclaimed down the phone, excitement brewing, finally it’s time to close this.

“I’m sorry the budget’s been pulled by head office, nothing we can do”.

Oh dear.

You’ve put everything on it, without realising it you’ve sat there for a good month, hours whizzing by while day dreaming of the good times ahead. You had the proverbial cigar already cut and the champagne on ice. But suddenly the outlook is rather different, ‘it was bad luck!’ won’t cut the mustard. ‘Nothing I could do!’ won’t either. Unwittingly you’ve let the pipe run down to a trickle and the self proclaimed promise of glory has turned into the crushing fear of missing your target by a mile.*

But it could all have been so easily avoided. It always feels like such a drag when you’re heading for the destined whopping deal and your manager pulls you aside for your pipeline update and asks “that’s great, but where’s the next one coming from”… ‘No worries, I won’t be needing another for months after this one so who even cares’ is an easy reaction. Next time this happens though, take it as a welcome kick up the **** to take stock and plan a little more carefully.

Once you’ve done all you can on a deal and there is nothing you can but hope and dream it’s time to move on. No matter how big it might be you need to start thinking what would happen if it goes wrong, is there enough backing it up that the outcome is actually inconsequential? If you get yourself in this mindset, you’ll be shaping up to hit your target in the worst case scenario and that big deal will just be a rather nice extra. The icing on cake (and maybe a little cherry on top as well). If they all come through then you’ve blown your target out of the water. Treat every deal as if it won’t happen and have in your mind that you need to have more in the pipe to cover it.

It’s the people who think like this who are the ‘lucky’ ones. You know that guy who ‘flukes’ his way onto the company holiday every year? He probably had dozens of ‘sure fire’ deals drop out around those ones you actually saw come through.

Don’t be the one sat in the office damning the client who pulled the budget. Work hard, work smart and make your own luck. Victory champagne tastes a lot better anyway.

*Heeding the words of a great man feel free to drink the champagne at this point anyway - "in victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it".