'Scrappy \’skra-pē\ adj: Full of fighting spirit—synonymous with having moxie, being feisty, enthusiastic, gutsy, lively and spunky.'
Maybe you’ve been told time and time again that if you pay your dues and keep plugging away, you will gain enough experience through 'the school of hard knocks' to be successful. That might be true. But maybe you want to reach your sales goals faster. Maybe you want to earn more and beat the odds — and do it with class and style. If so, it’s time to get scrappy.
Why? Because in today’s competitive market it takes more than just showing up, more than persistence, more than just having a dream to reach your goals. You need a consistent attitude, a proven strategy, and a tactical plan for execution to beat the odds. Scrappy sales people see ordinary challenges and find a new path to extraordinary results. In this three part series, it will be my goal to share ideas that will help you adopt a scrappy mindset you can apply to your career in sales.
Having a scrappy attitude is characterised by your mindset and speaks to your fighting spirit. It’s about the 'fire in your belly' and a determined nature that can’t really be quantified.
1. Think bigger. The first step is to get inspired, to allow yourself permission to think bigger and understand why you want to tap into your scrappiness. Saying “YES” to the scrappy mindset is a powerful tool.
2. Get out of your own way. Stop with the negative self-talk and excuses; realise that you’re not too young, too old, or too inexperienced to get what you want. In general, we all get pretty good at negative forecasting and giving in to those ‘culturally acceptable excuses.’ Forget about what others think and choose to step away from your excuses and imagine what life might look like when you succeed.
3. Face and embrace failure. Getting scrappy is also about getting something done despite opposition. If you recognise that failure can be a catalyst for change, you can do anything. Learn to welcome discomfort and even use it as a tool to make something new and different happen when you have an inspired intention. Start with small steps: manage your fears rather than overcome them, which can be a much longer process.
4. Morph the plan. Try and try again! Getting scrappy doesn’t guarantee you a win, but if you plan well it can give you another opportunity or significantly improve your chances of success. If your plan didn’t work the first time, morph the plan, not the goal. Failure is part of life, but it doesn’t have to obliterate your dreams.
5. Commit to being 'all in'. Deciding to commit is a choice. Once you make this decision with a specific challenge, it will act like a railroad switch. Somehow it activat
es a trigger in your brain, diverting it to a new route and pushing past old pathways.
6. Creativity is key. Sometimes you will have to wing it and get scrappy on the fly and in the moment. Other times you can sketch out a plan and your effort will follow a simple progression. There is no one specific formula. That’s what keeps it interesting and creative.
By Terri Sjodin, Principal and Founder, Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training and consulting firm. Terri is the author of the book, “Small Message, Big Impact”. She is considered one of the most sought-after sales, communications and speaking consultants.
Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big, Portfolio Penguin, £14.99