Bank Sales Corner

March Madness: Sales Success Tips for Bankers

Posted by Ned Miller on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 @ 06:36 PM


When March Madness rolls around, I do more than grab for the remote to check the college basketball coverage on television. I also pull out my copy of "Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court."


John Wooden, the UCLA basketball coach whose teams won 10 NCAA championships in 12 years between 1964 and 1975, is eminently quotable. Here are some that I like:


"Failure to change is often just stubbornness that comes from an unwillingness to learn, an inability to realize that you're not perfect. There cannot be progress without change-even though not all change is progress."


"You must never stand still. You're either moving upward a little bit or going the other way. You can't expect to go upward too quickly, but you can sure go down very quickly...Progress comes slowly but steadily if you are patient and prepare diligently."


"When you are too engrossed in those things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect those things over which you do have control-namely, your preparation."


Perhaps my favorite piece from this collection is Coach Wooden's "Eight Suggestions for Succeeding." At the risk of boring those relationship managers who do not follow sports, I offer them to you as timeless reminders on how to become a better professional.


  1. Fear no opponent. Respect every opponent.
  2. Remember, it's the perfection of the smallest details that make big things happen.
  3. Keep in mind that hustle makes up for many a mistake.
  4. Be more interested in character than reputation.
  5. Be quick, but don't hurry.
  6. Understand that the harder you work, the more luck you will have.
  7. Know that valid self-analysis is crucial for improvement.
  8. Remember that there is no substitute for hard work and careful planning. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.


I'd suggest that you ponder #7 for a minute. If you objectively evaluate your own professional skills, it often becomes clear what you need to work on. But don't stop there. Ask for some coaching. That will help you improve your sales results and get to the next level.


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