This lesson from Forster might just turn you into a champion, but why is it that the best lessons usually come after a defeat or a setback?
Last week, I competed at a prestigious snooker tournament in Forster. I even made it onto NBN (Channel 9 news) on the Friday.
Players from across Australia duked it out for the prize money, and the real gem? The winner gets to play at the Crucible in Sheffield, a dream akin to a tennis player at Wimbledon or a golfer at Augusta.
At Forster, the initial format spanned two days with 4-5 players in each group, totaling 12 groups. Everyone played against each other in a round-robin, with two from each group advancing to the knockout stages. I made it through. So far, so good.
Then came the draw. My opponent? Glen Wilkinson, an ex-pro and one of Australia’s finest. At 10 am, we kicked off a best-of-5 frames match. Glen, still sharp, looked ready to rumble.
After Glen snagged the fourth frame, we were tied at 2-2. The pressure was palpable. But somehow, I stepped up and clinched a tense 3-2 victory.
After this, it went all wrong…
Right after stowing my cue, Frank Dewens, the long-standing president of Australian Snooker, dropped the bombshell: “Adrian, your next match is soon; you’re on the third table.”
Not what I wanted to hear. After nearly 2.5 hours at the table, relief mingled with disorientation. I needed a break, and food.
Down at the club, I ordered, but before my meal arrived, Frank sent me a text: “Adrian, you’re up.”
The food landed as I left. I grabbed a handful, stuffed it in my mouth, and headed upstairs to play.
It wasn’t pretty.
Interestingly, I didn’t feel like playing. The first two frames were a very tactical so I was bored. Despite playing better against Glen and in other matches, I found myself down 2-0, staring elimination in the face.
To get in the zone, I even jumped around in the disabled toilets attempting to get my energy and focus up.
And it worked.
In frame 3, I nailed it. In frame 4, I was nearly 40 points ahead with a red poised to clinch the frame and even the score.
The red rolled around the pocket and didn’t drop.
My opponent seized the moment, winning the frame and the match.
So, what’s the lesson I was talking about?
In my last match, I didn’t feel like playing. Do you always feel like selling? As a manager, do you always feel like being the best version of yourself, the positive leader your staff needs daily?
No, you don’t. You’re human.
But here’s the kicker: it shouldn’t matter (to a degree) how you feel because it’s about the fundamentals.
What do I mean?
The reason why I didn’t play well in that last match and missed certain shots is not just because of my mindset, but something happened to my technique.
So, if you’re not selling or leading as well as you want, it’s often down to the fundamentals of what you’re doing or not doing.
Lately, I’ve heard from various dealerships that certain salespeople are skipping vital steps in the sales process. It leads me to think: Do they know ‘why’ these things are so important?
Take building rapport, for instance. You might be a natural, but many salespeople miss the mark. They dive straight into the product or service without getting people onside.
Here’s my advice: find one thing in common with every prospect that you speak to. Some will be easier than others but we have to adapt. It’s easy to get rapport with people like ourselves but if somebody is not like you, it becomes more challenging.
For example, if you’re familiar with the Four Buyer Types: With Demanding Don, you have to be quick to the point, efficient and effective in what you do, and they’ll love you.
Whereas somebody like a Reasonable Ruth or perhaps a Steady Eddie, is not going to like that. They want you to spend the time to get to know them and have a nice conversation with you and it’s so important to them that they feel comfortable in your presence.
The message here is don’t let your feelings impede your progress. Even if you are hungry and tired, stick to the sales process, and don’t skip the fundamentals.