Poker & Selling: Going All-in

Edi­tors note:  By day, Tuna is a pro­fes­sional sales per­son,  hump­ing his bag across his multi-state ter­ri­tory.  By night and week­ends he is an accom­plished  semi-professional poker player.   (Which  I guess means  he can’t com­pletely pay his mort­gage play­ing poker) What fol­lows is a the first of a series as Tuna looks at the sim­i­lar­i­ties of Poker and Selling.

Part One

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker has gained pop­u­lar­ity over the last few years both on tele­vi­sion in Amer­ica and around the world. Like mil­lions of other peo­ple, I began play­ing Poker as a hobby and enjoy many aspects of the game.  Ask any poker player about Going All-In and their eyes will light up. When you Go All In you shove all your chips hop­ing that your oppo­nent will either fold or call. Per­haps you were bluff­ing and hope they fold. Maybe you hold a pair of Kings and are hop­ing for a call!

There are many par­al­lels between sell­ing and poker. So many in fact, that this is the first in a series on poker and selling.

Let’s iso­late the con­cept of ‘Going All-In’ and com­pare it to commitment.

In poker, when you decide to put all your chips in the pot you are risk­ing your whole stack of chips. Like­wise, when you put a lot of time in devel­op­ing an account, you have made a com­mit­ment to your buy­ers. You have devel­oped rela­tion­ships and tried to under­stand all their needs and wants. Per­haps you have even brought in peo­ple from your orga­ni­za­tion to answer unique require­ments or to help you sway the deci­sion. This takes time, money and commitment.

Cen­tral to our sales career is the ele­ment of risk.

Every day, we go visit poten­tial new clients with no guar­an­tees. Yes, we learn how to qual­ify buy­ers to see if their orga­ni­za­tion has money, if the buy­ers have author­ity and if the need jus­ti­fies the money invest­ment. Buy­ers also are risk­ing their pro­fes­sional rep­u­ta­tions by invest­ing in your prod­ucts and ser­vices.  But there is a large reward to the risk taker…so large in fact that we have ded­i­cated our lives to becom­ing sales pro­fes­sion­als. We have made a com­mit­ment. We are all-in.

  • We are All-In every morn­ing when we go to the air­port at five A.M.
  • We are com­mit­ted when we have learned our prod­ucts so well that we intu­itively know what ques­tions to ask.
  • Hours and Hours go in to pro­pos­als and we go back in to nego­ti­ate.  Yes or No… no ‘maybe’.
  • Don’t give me a damn maybe!

We pay the price.  We are sales peo­ple. We go All-in every day.

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