Whether you like sports or not, you’ve got to know that successful athletes have great stories about the stuff they overcame to get to the top. One of my all-time favorite stories is still the one about Michael Jordan. After practice he would stay and shoot another 200 baskets, every practice. Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, even chess phenom Bobby Fischer all did the same thing (not shoot baskets). They practiced. It wasn’t just practice—it was deliberate practice. They didn’t just shoot a basket, make a pass, hit a ball, and play another game of chess to rack up their hours. They studied the results. Why had that shot missed? Why did they lose that game, or shank that drive? It’s not just repetition that changes us and improves our sales ability. It’s a deliberate and practiced awareness and study of why something didn’t work, or why it did. Persistence pays off, but smart, aware and studied persistence pays better.
“When you are not practicing, remember that somewhere, someone is, and when you met him, he will win.” ~Ed Macaulay