When it comes to excelling beyond the competition sometimes our most formidable opponent is ourselves, especially in sales. Distractions cause inefficiencies and when the competition is fierce we must focus on excelling where we differentiate.

Two weekends ago I participated in the Yosemite Half Marathon with no expectations but to compete to the best of my ability. It was the third annual event that sold out with over 2500 participants. Its popularity can be attributed to the amazing destination of the race itself and to the attainability of completing a 13.1 mile half marathon (versus a full marathon of 26.2 miles).

For me, this race was to claim victory on my well-being as it was my first half marathon since I dealt with some health issues in the Fall. From October through mid- January I wasn’t allowed to run, but was motivated to get back to training so I could run with my Reno-Tahoe Odyssey 5-Man Ultra team at the beginning of June. Each of us will run between 34 and 38 miles each to complete the 178 mile relay around the Reno and Tahoe Basin in less than 24 hours.

In sales we must always stay conditioned if we’re to perform at our best. Keeping up to date with industry trends, knowing and clearly articulating your unique value proposition, refining your craft, staying healthy and maintaining a solid network will help keep you in the game.

On the other side of the coin, it’s important to reflect on why you didn’t get the sale. Don’t lose the lesson…

  • PREPARATION: Did you conduct sufficient research about your prospect? Were you prepared to respond to objections or answer the tough questions?
  • SKILLS: Did you align your pitch and product to their needs? Were you confident in your presentation?
  • TIMING: Did you properly assess and identify when your prospect needed your services so you could effectively follow up?
  • DESIRE: Did you prove to your prospect that you were fully invested in their success?
  • TRUST: Were you consistent with everything you promised to deliver?

When your skills and resources are optimized in a competitive marketplace you will always have chance to win. This is when we must run our own race and differentiate from others.

When we’re neck and neck with the competition, we must deliver value in where we excel. Anyone can win on any given day.

I would go on to finish the Yosemite Half Marathon with a time of 1h 38m 33s. Not my fastest half, but faster than my goal time by over 6 minutes.

A couple hours later, I returned to the race site because my buddy was anticipating to place in his age group and receive a medal. That he did. What we didn’t expect was I would place 131 overall among 2500+ participants. But get this…

I would go on to place 1st in my age group that day by 11 seconds. Sometimes we win by creating our own luck, and we do that with more focused effort and perseverance.


I may not have been the fastest overall runner on that day, but my competition among my age group (or if this were business, my market) most likely fell short in either preparation or desire. You will win more deals if you have the desire to improve and refine your sales game. Know your shit. Prove that you want to win.

Do you have a success story where you won a deal against the odds? Please feel free to post your success story below.