Business: “It’s Not About Luck” by Alan Goswell

It’s not about luck, it’s about opportunities

Over the weekend, I was watching a TV programme that was basically saying that people aren’t lucky; they appear lucky because they seize opportunities.  It focussed on a butcher who claimed he was jinxed. But the truth was that he ignored opportunities such as a ‘guaranteed to win’ scratch card in his mailbox, an instant payout for doing market research, and even a £50 note lying on the floor in his path!  Of course, these ‘opportunities’ were rigged by the TV programme makers to prove the point, and also make for good TV, but the principle struck a chord with me and got me thinking about selling.

I often say to people “if you don’t go fishing you don’t catch fish”. I also say that to be successful in sales, the first rule is to “just show up”. The fish metaphor is about getting ‘out there’ and selling, either through an appointment or even cold calling.  The second is common sense! Another saying I use is “people sell to people”.  Combine these 3 elements or sayings and you create an opportunity to engage with your potential client and to close a sale.  If you don’t engage your potential customer, you won’t sell. Simple as that!

Selling, as with so many things in life, is not about luck, it’s about creating an opportunity and capitalising on it.  I’ve seen many salesmen say to me “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time”. It wasn’t luck, it was opportunity creating!

Of course, you don’t always meet a potential client on your terms. You might be in a bar and overhear a conversation that leads you to believe the other person is a potential client, you might get introduced ‘in passing’, you may even be in an elevator! How can you create an opportunity from these types of scenarios?  My answer to that is based around 3 quick rules…

1 – Develop and have practiced your elevator pitch

2 – Always have your business card on you

3 – Don’t be a nuisance (unless invited to do so!)

You may think these ‘rules’ apply to face to face selling, but they don’t. Online marketers can learn from this as well.  If you don’t have a website/online presence, you won’t catch people sitting at their computer (or tapping on their mobile device whilst on a train). If you don’t have an effective message you won’t engage. And if you do engage but forget that it’s actually a person reading your web copy, you’ll fail the 5-second rule!

So think about when you last thought you were lucky, and consider that you actually capitalised on an opportunity.  What did you do to create that opportunity, and what of that experience can you assimilate into your working (and private) life.

Alan Goswell

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