Luck is often considered an external factor that we cannot control, and sales professionals often attribute success to luck when they cannot pinpoint specific actions that led to positive outcomes. However, recent research suggests that luck in sales is not just a random external factor but can be managed to improve performance and competitiveness. In this article, we will discuss two perspectives on the role of luck in sales, and how understanding luck can impact your sales success.
The Role of Provoked Luck
According to a Harvard Business Review article by Joël Le Bon, a Clinical Professor of Marketing and Director of Executive Education for the Sales Excellence Institute at the University of Houston, luck in sales is not just a random factor. Rather, it is something that can be managed to create an advantage that Le Bon calls “provoked luck.”
Provoked luck refers to the opportunities that a salesperson creates through their actions, which leads to favorable circumstances that ultimately result in sales success. Le Bon’s research on 70 students selling sponsorships for a golf tournament and recruiting booths for a career fair found that provoked luck was the most significant source of sales generation, with almost 60 percent of sales success attributed to it.
Le Bon suggests that a belief in luck combined with effort can motivate salespeople to create the element of provoked luck, which, in turn, boosts their performance. This belief does not mean attributing consequences to pure luck, as the introduction paragraph stresses. Instead, the belief that luck combined with effort can help them succeed motivates salespeople to be more dedicated to their tasks and create more opportunities, ultimately leading to provoked luck.
Le Bon suggests that salespeople should take certain actions to improve their luck, such as constantly collecting information and being mindful of the customer’s needs by staying alert and being a good listener. The key takeaway from his studies is that salespeople should intrinsically motivate themselves and believe that their dedication and efforts will generate positive results through provoked luck.
The Role of R.O.P.E.
Sales expert, trainer, and motivational speaker Andy Preston introduces a concept called “R.O.P.E.” on his website, which stands for Return-On-Previous-Efforts. Preston believes that R.O.P.E. is a good substitute for the word “luck” and emphasizes that favorable outcomes in sales are generally a result of the salesperson’s past activities.
Preston urges salespeople to stay committed to their tasks, even though they may not be creating results right away. He emphasizes that there are usually gaps between efforts and results in sales, and utilizing this knowledge by reminding themselves that their tasks are still an essential part of the sales process can help salespeople adopt a R.O.P.E. mindset and reap the long-term rewards. According to Preston, staying organized and committed, especially when working on activities to develop “new business,” is key to success in sales.
How we define and approach luck in sales can impact our sales success. While some may view luck as a supernatural element that is out of our control, recent research suggests that luck is not entirely random and can be managed to create an advantage. Le Bon’s concept of provoked luck emphasizes the importance of salespeople taking specific actions to create opportunities, while Preston’s concept of R.O.P.E. emphasizes the significance of past efforts in creating favorable outcomes. By adopting a mindset that acknowledges the role of luck in sales and taking specific actions to improve it, sales professionals can improve their performance and competitiveness.
R.O.P.E is a Luck Provoker
In the first part of this article, we discussed the role of luck in sales and how it can be managed to improve performance and competitiveness. We explored the concept of provoked luck, which refers to the opportunities that a salesperson creates through their actions, leading to favorable circumstances that ultimately result in sales success. We also looked at the idea of R.O.P.E. (Return-On-Previous-Efforts), which suggests that favorable outcomes in sales are a result of the salesperson’s past activities. In this second part, we will dive deeper into these two perspectives and provide some practical tips on how to manage luck in sales.
Provoked Luck: How to Create Opportunities
According to Joël Le Bon, provoked luck is the most significant source of sales generation. Le Bon suggests that salespeople should take certain actions to improve their luck and create opportunities. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Build strong relationships with your customers: Sales success often depends on building strong relationships with your customers. By staying in touch with your customers, listening to their needs, and responding quickly to their requests, you can create opportunities for new sales and referrals.
Collect information and stay alert: Keep yourself informed about your customers’ businesses, their challenges, and their competitors. By being aware of their needs and problems, you can offer them relevant solutions and create opportunities for new sales.
Focus on providing value: Instead of just pushing products or services, focus on providing value to your customers. This means understanding their goals, their pain points, and their budgets, and offering them solutions that meet their specific needs. By doing so, you can create a loyal customer base that will continue to buy from you and refer you to others.
Stay positive and motivated: Believing in provoked luck means that you are confident that your dedication and effort will generate positive results. Stay positive, motivated, and focused on your goals, and you will create the opportunities that lead to sales success.
R.O.P.E.: How to Stay Committed and Reap Long-Term Rewards
Preston introduced the concept of R.O.P.E. to emphasize that favorable outcomes in sales are generally a result of the salesperson’s past activities. Here are some tips on how to adopt a R.O.P.E. mindset:
Stay organized and committed: Sales success often requires persistence and dedication. Stay organized by setting goals, creating a schedule, and tracking your progress. Stay committed by focusing on your tasks and reminding yourself that they are an essential part of the sales process.
Focus on “new business”: Building a loyal customer base is important, but so is generating new business. Focus on activities that create new opportunities, such as prospecting, networking, and cold calling.
Don’t give up too soon: It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results from your efforts. However, it’s important to remember that there are usually gaps between efforts and results in sales. Keep pushing forward, stay committed, and you will reap the long-term rewards.
Managing luck in sales is not just about hoping for the best. It requires a proactive approach that involves creating opportunities and staying committed to your tasks. Provoked luck and R.O.P.E. are two perspectives that can help salespeople understand the role of luck in sales and improve their performance and competitiveness. By building strong relationships with customers, collecting information, staying positive and motivated, and staying committed to their tasks, sales professionals can increase their chances of success and create the opportunities that lead to sales growth.