News & Research Archive

Winning Only to Lose

May 09, 2011


As salespeople, we have different directions we can take to either succeed or fail. Some salespeople succeed by following a methodical approach each day; they are disciplined, organized and focused on a specific client everyday. There are salespeople who are the complete opposite; they have little organizational skills but succeed because they are constant hunters for new business and work a deal until that deal is made. Then there are others still who simply work any deal that comes their way and hope to close enough to be successful. This last group unfortunately represents the majority of salespeople that are out there. They hope to win business but by not focusing their attention on opportunities, or closing deals that do not amount to much, they are ultimately losing as well as failing.

The old rule of thumb that 80 percent of the fish are caught by 20 percent of the fishermen still exists today. Why all of the sales training classes, books and other options to better one's sales skills have so little effect on motivating salespeople I do not know. Human nature prevails and there will always be those who seek to move forward and those who sit back and hope that something will happen.

Today there is an attack on sales like never before. For instance, sales have never been regarded highly by schools; years ago it was considered something a person did if he were not educated. Today the word salesperson has disappeared in favor of Marketing Director or Senior Vice President. However, without sales our economic engine will fail. Today more than ever we need hunters to seek new opportunities and develop business opportunities in order to expand our businesses. Emerging countries such as Asia, India and Russia are developing salespeople who are not vice presidents, but salespeople who are hunting for new opportunities.

As salespeople, we stand to lose rather than succeed if we win business that does not amount to much. As a country, if we fail to promote sales in favor of fake titles and marketing, we will lose the worldwide fight to win international business.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 26 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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