In the game of Texas Holdem Poker, you can give everyone a run for their money if you are dealt a 4-of-a-kind on the flop. The odds are highly in your favor to raise the pot on the turn, and again on the river. I’ve been dealt such a hand at a home friendly tournament.

The feeling is exhilarating but the hand should be slow-played to maximize the opportunity.

I read Daymond John‘s book, The Power of Broke, and that’s what this post is all about. Making the most of opportunities no matter what sort of hand you’re dealt.

Any vetted sales professional would agree that “there are no new ideas, just a better way to deliver them”.  We win by being resourceful.

To succeed in a competitive marketplace, we must find a way to differentiate from competition. While a business can support their sales staff through advertising, strategic partnerships, social selling and digital marketing, it’s ultimately up to the sales rep to find new business and close deals. This is where the art of your personal brand should answer the fundamental question, “How are you different from the competition?”

We win where we differentiate.

Before I landed multi-year deals with brands and teams such as the New York Yankees, Baltimore Ravens, NASCAR, GoPro, and Samsung I needed to first define how we were different. All of our competitors had the same capabilities we did but one of my competitive advantages was a marketers mindset. I changed the conversations by changing the perception of how our products could be used as an extension of their brand rather than just a necessity.

But here is the key…

When entering a market with a different product or service you not only need to win the buy-in of your point contact, but they need to win buy-in from the rest of their team. 

The first principle I preach in any personal brand presentation is passion. And you know the saying, “Enthusiasm is contagious”. If you can get one person excited about an idea that will enhance the performance of their business, surely they can spread that same enthusiasm to others on their team and even the person who approves the budget. Everyone wants to look good.

Know the benefits of your offer inside-and-out so that you can deliver on the details. Then…

  1. FIND THE CHAMPION FROM WITHIN. Let them evangelize your brand through the enthusiasm they expressed with you. But before you hang up the phone or leave that first meeting, ask when you can follow up for next steps to further gauge the opportunity.
  2. SET THE PACE. You don’t want to ask too much too soon but don’t wait for them to get back to you. Always ask permission for a time to follow up to assess when the prospect will be in the best position to buy. The sooner you do this the better you can align your resources to deliver for other potential needs of their business.
  3. POSITION YOUR BRAND FOR BUY-IN. When a new expense is introduced to the budget, it may or may not be approved the first time around. You may run into a “why fix it if it ain’t broke” decision maker or the idea may need to be approved in the next budget cycle. In the meanwhile, find a way to educate and personally connect with 3 to 4 more people on other account teams.

You may encounter a situation where a competitor is locked into a multi-year non-compete. In that case keep your footing on solid ground and uphold the same level of professionalism that got you the first appointment. If you’re in this game for the long haul 2 to 3 years will be up before you know it and you’ll be in pole position when it’s time to renew. Loyalties become fierce when relationships are built over time.

Want to know how I won BIG with teams and brands such as Toyota, MillerCoors, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bearcats, and Texas Longhorns by playing the long game?

Message me and let’s tee up a call.