Blackjack Principles and the Sales “Game”

Blackjack is one of the few casino games where you have almost an equal chance of leaving the table as a winner. Most business owners and sales professionals would love a 50/50 chance when trying to close a sale. Let’s look at the three key principles of Blackjack and see how they can be applied to the sales game:

1. Understand the rules of the game
Blackjack has rules that dictate how and when cards are dealt, what combinations of cards make up a winning hand, and how the dealer should play his hand. Additionally, mathematical odds establish a set of “rules” that you must follow to maximize your chances of winning. By sticking to the rules, you reduce the house edge to just a small percentage.

Key Factors: To follow the rules, you must be emotionally detached from the process and must consistently follow the rules. If the rules specify that you always split Aces and Eights, then you must always split Aces and Eights. If the odds specify that you should keep 14 when the dealer’s face-up card is six or less, that’s what you should do. You can’t play hunches. You cannot guess the odds.

2. Never risk more than you can afford to lose
The wisdom of the rule should be obvious. If it’s unwise, as the adage, “put all your eggs in one basket,” suggests, it’s just as silly to bet all your money (especially your bottom dollar) on one hand.

3. Know when to walk away
If you play the game long enough, you will likely notice a sine wave-like pattern in your winnings. Sometimes you are awake, sometimes even and other times you are depressed. Unfortunately, the pattern is not a perfect sine wave with a fixed and predictable frequency and amplitude. So you need to set a goal beforehand to get away when you’re up or down by a specific amount. In any case, you walk away as a winner, measured by your actual winnings or simply by the fact that you survived to play another day, or perhaps at another table.

Apply the winning principles of Blackjack to successful sales

1. Understand the rules of the game.
A fundamental rule of the game is that you don’t spend your time looking for low probability opportunities, regardless of how much you want or need a sale. As in Blackjack, you must stay emotionally detached from the process. If the opportunity doesn’t measure up … well, then it’s not up to scratch, and it’s time to move on and find one that is.

Low probability opportunities exist when:
– There is no compelling reason for the potential customer to buy your product or service or buy it from YOU.
– The potential customer is unwilling or unable to make the necessary investment to obtain your product or service.
– You cannot meet all of the potential customer’s criteria to buy your product or service or buy it from you instead of a competitor.

2. Never risk more than you can afford to lose.
“Bet” your time wisely. Don’t spend all your time looking for an opportunity. That is not a winning strategy. You should have more than one active opportunity in your portfolio.

3. Know when to walk away.
Sometimes it is not in the cards. Some sales opportunities will progress predictably and perhaps quickly, and you will add a new name to your customer list. Other opportunities will linger. Some prospects don’t commit or, if they do, they won’t deliver. In those cases, you must reduce your losses (of time and energy). You need to close the file, walk away, and spend your time identifying other potentially more viable opportunities.

When you follow the rules, you can bet on the outcome: more sales closed, more often.

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