January 18

Clemson, Trump & Sales Strategies


First, let me say this is not a blog about politics or sports. I am not a Trump fan. While I love sports, you will never catch me watching television when I could be outside playing the game. So, please do not see this as an endorsement of anyone mentioned in this article. And, please do not take this opportunity to share your political views or share why your favorite sports team got screwed. These are just the facts, the cold hard facts.

I had lunch this week with a client who is a Trump fan, a CEO who is quite excited that Trump took the white house. When I asked him if he was surprised when Trump won, he shared his “election” story. The story of how he never thought Trump had a chance. My client, like so many others I know (Hillary and Trump supporters) went to bed early, thinking Hillary had this one in the bag.

Now, my client is also a huge Clemson Tigers fan, and I knew he was excited about their big win over the Alabama Crimson Tide. When I asked him about the game, again he shared he never thought “his team” had a shot. So once again, he turned the game off early and went to bed.

This conversation got me thinking. I wonder how many other people did that? How many others who are deeply committed to a candidate or their favorite team, simply give up early when they think their team or candidate does not have a shot? Turns out, quite a few. More people I talked with gave up, rather than commit to watch their “guy” or team get crushed. Only to wake up in the morning to discover not only had they called that one wrong, they missed the match of a lifetime.

So I wondered, do we do this in business, too?  How often do we give up in business and in sales, thinking the game is over, and we have no shot of winning the deal? Then we realize if we had hung in there, stayed in the game a little longer, the outcome would have surprised us.

If we want to finish first, we need to stay in the game, keep working even when the odds look bad. Again, this blog is not an endorsement of either Donald Trump or the Clemson football team. But, even if they are not your choice of winners, you have to admit there is a lot to be learned from what they did to cross the finish line.

3 Uncommon Sales Strategies To Close More Deals:

Most of us have been trained in what are known as the “typical” sales strategies and the steps it takes to close a deal. Things like choosing the right target market, building a prospect list, the art of sales follow-up and asking probing questions (man, I hate the word probing). These are all good tactics, but it takes a lot more to close the deal in today’s shifting marketplace. It takes another level of skill if you want more turns at bat and more wins.

  1. Mindset

Often overlooked, but critical for sales success. So, what is mindset? In essence, it is your attitude, your belief and your confidence in yourself or product. So yes, sales really starts there.

Both Clemson and Trump had the mindset they could win. No matter how bad the stats looked, they did not lose the confidence that they would come out on top. To win at sales, you need that mindset. You need to do the work to build your confidence and belief system that the odds of winning that deal are squarely in your favor.

  1. Stamina

Do you have what it takes to go the distance? My client “gave up” on both his candidate and his team. He chose not to stay and watch, as he clearly thought both were going to get crushed. But again, both Clemson and Trump stayed in the game. They both fought hard to win, no matter what the scoreboard said.

More often than not, we lose the deal. This is not because we are not qualified, not because our prospects do not want the product or service. It is simply because we gave up when it looked like we could not win. I believe that success, in life and sales, is often just a matter of stamina. Ask yourself, do you have the resilience and perseverance to stay in the game?

  1. Skill

No matter what, no matter how good you are, you must continue to build the skills, increase your knowledge and be prepared to win. Like it or not, both Donald Trump and the Clemson Tigers had the skills to win their games. Neither came out of nowhere or were an overnight success. In other words, you need to practice, invest in learning and consistently do the work it takes to build your skills. Then, you are prepared when opportunity comes knocking.

People don’t win elections or football games because they are lucky. They win because of the hard work they put in long before they ever got a shot at the title. Sales works the same way, you must build your sales muscle long before you need to use it.

So there you have it, three uncommon sales strategies you need to open more doors and close more sales. I am a believer that there is much to be learned (good and bad) from watching the world around us. At the end of the day, everything begins and ends with sales.


I want to invite you to join me for a DEEP DIVE New Year ReSOLUTIONS Webinar on Tuesday January 24th at Noon EST. Where we will take a deeper look at the strategies you need to succeed in this year of uncertainty. We’ll even create your personal plan of action, so YOU can Succeed No Matter What This Economy Does

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See you January 24th!

Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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