I was talking with a executive from a company whose growth had stalled. I asked them how they competed against one of their competitors. The executive confidently told me, “They’re really not much of an issue – we rarely go up against them.” My response: “That might be why your growth has stalled.”
One of the most contrarian (and accurate) words of advice I give sales people is that the most predictable sign of a stall is when closing ratios get above 80%. That’s right, if you’re not losing some business that you feel you should win, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re going to be in for some trouble.
Why? Because you’ve entered what is commonly called a “comfort zone.” Virtually every successful entrepreneur I know tells me that their best business breakthroughs have come after a potential client told them “no.” The “no” required that selling company or the salesperson to look inside, improve their offerings and grow their capabilities.
So go out today and find some business that you might not be able to win. Stretch – lose a little – and grow.