The Possibility Of Opportunity

So many times, we are so immersed in what we are doing that we don’t have time to lift our heads and open our eyes and our minds to the possibility of opportunity. This can be a problem since being open to opportunities is crucial for success in sales as it is in all of business …indeed in life as well. I have found over the years that there are a number of ways to look for, find and take advantage of opportunities. 

The absolute best way to seek and find the possibility of opportunity is to always have an open mind. I like to listen to people, especially people who have a passion for what they do. Not only listen to them… but hear them as well. Really absorb what they are telling you. Even if what they are talking about has nothing to do with what you are doing. In the end all businesses are about people and all people have a lot of things in common. When you talk to someone about their business, or their interests. Or whatever they are passionate about you will learn something. I guarantee you will learn something. Keep your eyes and ears open. Network with people in fact seek out people who can help you and make them part of your network. I actually curate my network so I can learn something new about something I don’t know much about. I have been known to take on clients just so I could learn more about their business. Something I call “paid tuition” where they are actually paying me to help them while I am learning something from them about them and their area of business.

You also have to be able to connect the dots. To be able to see that if a company is doing something that makes them successful were applied to your business, it could work. Even if you are in a completely different business.

Here are some of the more unusual things I do to open my mind up to the possibilities of opportunity.

  • I walk through books stores. I visit a couple of bookstores a week just to look at the titles, thumb through some books and steal some ideas. Of course, I buy and read a lot of books as well, but never without my handy pen and notebook to take down some of the ideas I glean from that reading. And I am not just talking about business books either. Art books are great. Design books are also great. I especially am greatly influenced by books about architects and chefs. These are some of the most creative people you will ever come across. And just reading their words and learning how they go about doing what they do will help you to open your mind to the possibilities.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay curious and committed to learning. Attend seminars, workshops, and training sessions related to your industry and sales techniques. Read books, articles, and listen to podcasts to stay updated with the latest trends and strategies.
  • Networking: As I mentioned earlier. Build and nurture relationships with a diverse range of people within and outside your industry. Attend networking events, join professional associations, and engage in online forums to expand your network. You never know when a chance encounter or a connection might lead to a promising opportunity.
  • Active Listening: Practice active listening during conversations with prospects, customers, and colleagues. Pay close attention to their needs, pain points, and aspirations. Often, opportunities arise from understanding their challenges and providing solutions that address them.
  • Adaptability: Be flexible and adaptable in your approach to sales. Markets, customer preferences, and industry dynamics are constantly evolving. Embrace change and be willing to adjust your strategies and tactics accordingly to seize new opportunities as they arise. Study people and adapt to their needs. Be open to their way of looking at things. And as always remember what Steve Jobs said, “Great artists steal.” In fact, he stole that quote from Picasso who stole it from someone else. 
  • Problem-solving mindset: Approach every challenge as an opportunity to innovate and add value. Instead of viewing obstacles as roadblocks, see them as chances to display your problem-solving skills and demonstrate your commitment to helping clients overcome their challenges. And it can be fun as well. I do four crossword puzzles a day for example. The harder the better.
  • Creative Thinking: Cultivate a mindset of creativity and innovation. Explore unconventional approaches to sales and brainstorm new ideas to differentiate yourself from competitors and capture the attention of potential clients. Make time to think. Walk and think, sit, and think. The important thing is to take the time to think. I cannot tell you the number of times where I took off for a four-mile walk thinking about an issue or challenge or problem and it was solved by the end of the walk!
  • Stay Positive: Maintain a positive attitude even in the face of rejection or setbacks. Optimism and resilience are essential qualities that can help you stay motivated and open to exploring new opportunities. If you expect to go out and find the possibility of opportunities in everything you do every single day … you will. I can guarantee that you will in the end.

The important thing is to find your own way. Your own way of stimulating your mind to the point where you are always open to the possibility of opportunity, and you will find it. All you have to do is look. It’s only common sense.