Selling in 2020: Are You Really Committed?

With 2020 off-and-running, Paul Reilly discusses the mindset needed to make this sales year your best one ever.

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“I really believe that when 2020 gets here we’re gonna look back and this is gonna have been the best decade in Clemson football history. That’s what I believe.”

— Dabo Swinney, Clemson University Head Football Coach. Source: Jon Gordon’s Positive U Podcast

Clemson Head coach, Dabo Swinney, is commenting on his vision for Clemson football. The content of this quote is not overly inspiring; however, the timing is. He didn’t say this after Clemson won its first National title in 2016 or their second National title in 2018. This comment was during the 2010 season — his WORST year as Clemson’s head coach. In spite of the media and all the negativity circling Swinney, he remained committed to his vision for Clemson, and he achieved it. The Tigers came up just short of another national title Jan. 13.

Do you have the same level of commitment to your success?

You will face adversity this year. Whether it’s a lost sale, pricing pressure, tariffs, internal strife, economic factors, etc. There will be resistance. There will be setbacks. This is when persistence counts. Persistence beats resistance.

This year don’t fear adversity, embrace it. Adversity plays a paradoxical role in our success. We try to avoid it, but adversity is a necessary part of success. Adversity motivates you to work harder, smarter, and more diligently. Too many people wallow in the face of adversity and quit. By quitting, you miss out on the full benefits of adversity. You miss tapping into your greater potential. When faced with adversity, don’t quit, commit!

Here are a few tips to help you make 2020 the best year yet.

Demonstrate unwavering commitment to achieve your goal. If your goal is a stretch, then break down your large goal into a series of small wins. Small wins keep you focused, motivated, and engaged. Ask yourself, “What small wins will lead to my eventual success?” When you do the little things right, big things can happen.

I understand that many of you had a great 2019, and you have an even bigger number this year. You might even be a little frustrated…Get over it! Your target is your target, accept it. No amount of complaining will change it. Also, consider the negative impact complaining has on your attitude and ability. Imagine waking up every day telling yourself, “There is no way I am going to hit this number.” With that attitude, you won’t. Stop complaining and start achieving.

Expect yourself to be successful. In 2010, Swinney noticed that his team didn’t expect to win, they hoped to win. Swinney mentioned the first thing that needed to change was the team’s belief in victory. They needed to expect to win. Are you hoping to win or expecting to win? You will rise or fall to your expectations. Believe in your ability and the achievability of your goal. Tell yourself, “My success is not only possible, it’s probable.”

Forget about last year. Whether you had a bad year, but especially if you had a good year, forget about your results. Swinney said in this interview “Last year’s touchdowns ain’t gonna win this year’s games.” In the same way, last year’s sales don’t count for this year’s targets. Forget about last year’s success and focus on Paul Reilly Cropped Version 5da8d0e2da915Paul Reillythis year’s targets. If you had a great 2019, good for you, but remember, you can do more. Last year’s performance doesn’t define this year’s potential.

Paul Reilly is a speaker, sales trainer, and co-author of Value-Added Selling, fourth edition (McGraw-Hill, 2018), and host of The Q and A Sales Podcast.  For additional information on our keynote presentations and seminars, call 636-778-0175 or email [email protected]. Visit and signup for our free newsletter.

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