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Eliminate 'Ring Rust' and Sell Like a Hero in 2020

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(Related: What Do You Have at Stake in 2020?)

Everyone wondered if ring rust set in or if the Irishman Conor McGregor would rebound after 18 months absence from the octagon, to his former glory.

The UFC President Dana White said in a pre-fight interview for the Jan 9 match, “Ring rust is real, I believe in it, we’ll see how that goes,” referring to the Irishman.

Draped in the flag of his native Ireland, in just his second appearance since 2016, Conor McGregor, the former two-division champion finished off Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a swift 40 seconds. Busting Cowboys nose, McGregor finished him via a first-round TKO in their welterweight event at UFC 246.

Ring Rust

Is ring rust a real thing?

This is and has been debated back to the glory days of boxing.

One side of the debate says it’s not really “ring rust” because you can regain those decaying skills in training and sparring.

Other say it’s really just “atmosphere rust.” You can have the exact match in training and perform one way and have a tournament and perform another way, is it the atmosphere that gets you?

I’m a salesman.

Over the years (and there have been a few of them) I have found that selling is a contact activity.

Your success has a lot to do with training, in practice and ongoing. Success has a lot to do with sparring (and how skilled your sparring partner is).

Truth be told prospects have better skills at sales resistance than salespeople have in closing sales.

No, really.

How many times a day are you approached, engaged in or exposed to a sales message. On your phone, upselling when your car is fixed, 2 for 1 sales not to mention when you are on FB, searching google (you even get popup ads in your email after you’ve sent an email and mentioned a product or brand) along with every TV show you watch.

You’ve become a professional at resisting the sales pitches, haven’t you, dozens if not hundreds of times a day?

Sales is a contact activity.

Ring rust can occur between calling to set appointments because we stop when we get an appointment (or our ego gets hurt), between sales when we hit a slump and when we’ve become dependent on our favorite go-to product, the price goes up and BAM, we can’t close a dam thing!

To be a champion in sales, to be the hero for your family, the hero in someone’s life (your clients), protecting the things that matter most to them, you’d better become a Conor McGregor!

As sales professionals we all get “ring rust”, I believe “ring rust” is real, I also believe we can stave it off with the same techniques the most fighters do.

Fighting Ring Rust

Here are a few strategies used by fighters who overcame ring rust — (now watch, I’m going to use some sales analogies after each strategy).

  1. Long, hard sparring sessions with talented opponents — as sales professionals we need to be prepared for every objection, stall or rejection. The more objections you get the better you’re prepared for them. You get objections from prospects so do what we did when I started in the business, prospect where you pay, where you play and where you pray. In fact, make a list every week of the big fighter you want a match with and get rejected by them until you don’t. It will be those long, hard sparring sessions with tough prospects that will make you a hero.
  2. Studying and strategizing for your comeback opponent — We get in a slump or go a week without a sale because we are not willing to study and strategize with other hero’s. Don’t wait until you “need” the commission, have a mentor (and make sure it’s someone who is building their book of business like the one you want to build) and ask for input, suggestions or council. Just one thing, make sure you are coachable. How, set your ego aside and just do what they suggest, just try it.
  3. Taking the first round to feel out the opponent — Stop selling your product. About 70% of consumers make a buying decision to solve a problem, 30% make a buying decision to gain something. Start asking questions about their problem, that’s what you’re supposed to sell, the problem they have, not the product you sell. The product is a solution. You must find out what problem they want to solve before they see what you’re selling as a solution.
  4. Fighting a lessor opponent before jumping into a big fight — Stop being stuck on the product you think people “should” buy, stop looking for someone to “buy” from you and start having a conversation with people, little or small, this will hone your relationship skills and by winning over “lesser opponents” you will win the big fights.

The title of this article is “Eliminate ‘Ring Rust’ and Sell Like a Hero in 2020.”

We’ve talked about ring rust and how even we are susceptible to it.

What the heck do I mean “Sell Like a Hero in 2020″?

A saleshero is a person who offers valuable services and products to enhance the fundamental quality of living for the people (s)he comes across, rooted in empathy, personalization and genuine care.

What makes a hero?

We all have an inner hero — a drive that connects us to excel in life, while positively impacting those around us.

The dictionary defines “hero” as “a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his or her brave deeds and noble qualities.”

Heroes come in many forms in life, ranging from one’s family and friends to athletes to movie stars.

Let’s bridge your knowledge to your clients’ needs through empathy and care, connecting you to your calling to be a saleshero.

Start by thinking like a saleshero:

  1. Let go of your ego. A real hero knows that their actions might go unnoticed and that’s okay.
  2. Initiate the change you want to see. A true saleshero isn’t afraid to be bold and take action.
  3. Put others before yourself. Think about other people needs before considering your own.
  4. Be ready to be the first to move, triggering others past passivity.

— Read Retirement Planning Made Simpleon ThinkAdvisor.


Lloyd Lofton (Photo: Lofton)

Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales and the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections.