The record book is now closed on the Summer Olympics of Rio de Janeiro.
Millions upon millions of us watched hours of elite events leaving us with more incredible memories from sports like gymnastics, track, swimming and basketball, just to name a few.
As you watched, didn’t you wonder – what makes great athletes like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps? Usain has won nine Gold medals in the last three Olympics and Michael has won an incredible twenty-three Golds!
I couldn’t help but also ask, “Would they be successful if their profession was sales?” I think so.
This month, I’ll focus on one of three characteristics of winners – credibility.
First, let’s take a look at what credibility is not.
When the swimming events were over, a group of US swimmers decided to go out and party. The leader of the group was another exceptional Gold medalist – Ryan Lochte.
They went out and partied and then trashed a restroom at a gas station, which Lochte tried to cover up with a lie. He left the country avoiding the consequences and maybe thinking, or hoping, it would all just go away.
Well, it didn’t.
Already he has lost several sponsorships, estimated to cost him millions.
Personally, I believe the loss of sponsors is a small consequence for his actions. But the problem goes much deeper. He now has lost credibility with his teammates, coaches and the public in general.
If you think of credibility as the “quality of being trusted,” he’s in trouble. Think about it, would you buy anything from Ryan Lochte?
Credibility is built on an existing track record. In fact, four years ago at the Olympics there was great hype on how well Lochte would perform and he was somewhat of a letdown.
And, of course, Lochte isn’t alone in his misbehavior. Michael Phelps had his own issues after the London Olympics and he too lost some sponsors. Fortunately though, it seems that Michael has learned from his mistakes. Will Lochte? Will he earn a second chance?
As sales professionals, we don’t always get the privilege of a second chance.
Remember – your credibility is based on you, your company and your track record of following through with the results and performance that you promised your clients.
Performance is one basic measure of credibility.
And speaking of performance, wouldn’t you love to see Usain Bolt sell your product or service? His credibility is spot on. His team won the 4×100 relay and I believe the other three team members stepped it up knowing that Bolt was the final leg of the relay. They knew he would not let them down but would continue to deliver the same excellence that he has shown in the last three Olympics.
Good credibility is a key element in your sales success; in fact, it should lead to winning. My definition of credibility is “having the innate ability, experience and knowledge on how to win over and over when the opportunity arises.” Both Bolt and Phelps showed us exactly what that looks like in Rio.
Even Bill O’Reilly commented on the Olympics, saying “You need more than skill; you need the will.”
Having skill is the critical foundation, but having will is the secret sauce. Your inner drive to dig deep knowing that your credibility is always at stake. Whether you are in Dallas, Texas or in Rio de Janeiro, you have to know that somebody is watching. A hard lesson for Ryan Lochte.
When asking yourself what drives you to be successful in sales, remember to always start with your credibility.