“I know I’m supposed to be there, I know I’m supposed to lead by example. I know that. And I’m not shoving it aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important. I do. I honestly do. But we’re talking about practice, man. What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice, man!”

Allen Iverson

What a fantastic quote which segues wonderfully from… Can You Imagine A Professional Athlete Operating With A Sales Reps Mindset?

The roadmap to success for an elite athlete is based on hard work, personal ownership and how it is applied. They understand they must apply themselves in all aspects of their training. They take ownership, holding themselves accountable to the process.

A growth mindset is such a critical component to the success of an elite athlete and a sales professional.

I asked the question…

What separates an average athlete from an average sales rep? Millions of dollars and their mindset.

I am here to tell you there is one more separation point between elite athletes and an average sales rep – PRACTICE!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” 

Will Durant

One of the best ways you can transform your ordinary day as a sales rep into an extraordinary one is to master the art of being a sales professional. Transform your thinking from sales rep to sales professional. Think of your sales profession as a work of art and handle it with care.

Immerse yourself in your work, become fully engaged. Transform your mind to one of growth. As this happens, you improve your ability to grow. As you grow yourself you grow your career as a sales professional. The opposite is to disconnect just doing your time, settling for complacency. Doing your time turns sales professionals into average sales reps.


A basketball game isn’t won on the court. The game is won in the days, weeks, months and off-season work leading up to the 48 minutes of actual playing time.

The game is won with preparation. The team watches film, memorizes plays, hits the gym and eats properly. Preparation and practice are the keys!

The lie you tell yourself, “But, I practice on the job.”

Just ask the all-time greats. Kobe Bryant saw Los Angeles at 4:00 A.M. Michael Jordan was the first person on the court and the last one off. Magic Johnson was the true definition of a work horse. It was his work ethic, growth mindset along with his commitment to practice which made him one of the best basketball players of all time.

So, why do sales reps struggle so much with practice?

If you want to be the best you can be in sales, you have to become a better sales professional away from the phone, away from your email, away from your desk and disconnected from social. In sales, you don’t have an off-season to condition the mind or body. You don’t have 3 months off to prepare for the season long grind.


Consistency is what separates elite athletes from good athletes. The ability of these elite athletes to go out there, day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out for years is incredible. Can the same be said for top sales professionals versus average sales reps?

What makes elite athletes and top sales professionals so consistent? I believe it is consistent preparation in every aspect of what they do including physical conditioning, practice efforts, technique, tactics, mental aspects, nutrition, sleep, and on-going learning.

Consistently great performances comes from consistency in practice efforts. The best way to build this consistency is to have clearly defined goals and structure for every practice session.

Unfortunately, this is where I see the disconnect between elite athletes and sales professionals. Elite athletes have great coaches. Can the same be said for sales people? How many sales reps can say their managers make great coaches?

If you aren’t willing to help yourself and practice then how can you help your clients do better in their business?



The buyer as well as some clients portray sales reps as egomaniacs with “do whatever it takes to close the deal” mentality. There is always some truth to stereotypes. In some sales situations one’s ego may hurt more than help them.

“When you are about the other person more than you care about hitting your quota, when you make that shift, you go into the jedi-ness of becoming a salesperson.” 

Gary Vaynerchuk

Just let go of you big fat ego! Believe me as it is not always about you. The prospect is not saying no to you. There are saying, “You haven’t given me enough reason to say yes.”


Seek to understand goes a long way as a sales professional. Don’t just listen to be polite and build rapport. Listen with intent to understand and gain vital information to help your clients and prospects. Sales reps must be genuinely interested in helping their clients.

  • Listen for clues and look out for problems affecting their business
  • How could you fix these problems?
  • What potential implications could this have to them?


Point blank, “How can some people call themselves a ‘Sales Professional’ but do little or no prospecting?” This one blows my mind!

Let’s get this one straight, prospecting is a challenge. Most salespeople aren’t very good at it. Why? Because they haven’t cultivated the right habits and fail to practice.

“Sales reps have hypnotized themselves into believing what they aren’t doing doesn’t work”

There is a pundit feud going on as to the best vehicles to leverage business development. I find this quite humorous as most sales reps lack the fundamental skills necessary around practice to make any of it work.

Ask any sales rep the hardest part of their job and most will utter the word, PROSPECTING. If one fails to practice at the single most important aspect of their job then how can one achieve a consistent level of success?

Successful sales reps continually practice the art of prospecting as they keep their sales funnel full. They divide their time between selling, prospecting and taking care of their clients. Top sales reps who crush their quotas are fully dedicated to prospecting and have modernized their prospecting approaches to align with the modern buyer. The primary differentiator of today’s successful sales reps is their ability to prospect.


Elite athletes as well as sales professional who achieve extraordinary results put in a lot more hours of practice than the average. While their performances, outcomes and what they do are remarkable, there is no mystery at all about how this was developed. They practiced beyond the average ordinary individual.

If you want to reach the next level in your sales career, it’s imperative you spend more time preparing and more time practicing. It’s foolish to say it is all about working smarter, not harder. If you really want to win in sales, you have to work harder and smarter.

Don’t be an Allen Iverson!

I understand where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes and still do on a daily basis.

I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way.

In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image

You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.

I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate on LinkedIn. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedInTwitter, as well as at the Social Sales Academy


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