Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat

According to the author, “salespeople always like to compare themselves to athletes when describing their profession, and nowhere does the analogy apply more than in the Winter Olympics”. Through the article, the author outlines some lessons from business/life that he has observed from watching the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy:

Ø It’s not over until it’s over. The analogy between being too cocky during business negotiations is made here with the unfortunate fall on Lindsey Jacobellis. Jacobellis had a huge lead, got cocky, and did a trick that caused her to fall and lose the gold medal. Jacobellis admitted that there was a bit of grandstanding behind her poor judgment. The message is never to get too confident: “Your competitors are always right behind you, regardless of how far ahead you think you are.” No deal is ever sealed until a client signs the bottom line.
Ø Always be ready to seize an opportunity. The author uses the case of Emily Hughes filling in for Michelle Kwan in the women’s figure skating competition to illustrate the fact that as marketers we must always be ready to seize an opportunity. Always be prepared for the unexpected and run with every opportunity to the best of your ability.
Ø Be ready to recover from defeat. More than any other player in the world of business, a salesperson will have to deal with the rejection regularly. “But the A players are the ones who can shake it off and are always looking ahead to their next victory.” This point is made by making the example of the Chinese pair figure skaters who “crashed” only seconds into their routine, but bounced back with determination to win the silver medal.
Ø Recognition matters. “Most of the athletes don’t do it for the cash, they do it to show the world they are the best of the best—an experience that money can’t buy.” Employee recognition can be a powerful tool for managers in creating a successful business environment. Sometimes an employee needs to have his/her accomplishments recognized in order to continue to work to the best of his/her ability.

This blog is marketing related because it is focused on giving business/life advice to salespeople, as well as the business community in general. It is important to draw lessons from different aspects of life in order to remember that marketing is not all about textbook concepts and strategies. Applying everything a student learns in college will not dictate success; rather, one must have a deep common sense and some life experience to be able to effectively execute strategies.

This story informs marketing in the sense that it gives a broader, more personal perspective on the study. One must always strive for success but also be prepared to deal with failure. It is important to recognize the flaws in ones actions such that one can improve. Marketers must always be ready to jump at any opportunity to get ahead and must keep working hard until the task is complete.

This particular story has given me some insight into the aspects of marketing that you can’t learn in class. Failure is something we must experience to understand. Determination is something we have to teach ourselves. Being ready to jump at any opportunity is something we have to be aware of. This story really helped me to understand that marketing is so much more than case analysis and terminology.

Although the story was incredibly interesting and attracted my attention, it played on the emotions heavily. I personally liked that aspect of the story, but I can see why some would criticize is as being too “fluffy”.

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