Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time, said: "Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent."
Nolan had an overpowering fastball. To some fans, it may have sometimes seemed as if he was throwing that same pitch over and over. Actually, even when he threw a bunch of fastballs in a row, he would change the speed (fast, faster, fastest), vary the height and adjust how the ball moved.
This philosophy of adapting to different situations that brought him great success as a baseball player continues to help him thrive in business today.
The willingness and ability to adapt is behind many great success stories. Innovative companies, such as Google and Apple, quickly respond to changes and anticipate their customers' needs.
They know that change is required simply to stay competitive as the same products and services that produced great results last year may no longer be appealing.
History provides plenty of examples of dinosaurs that became extinct after their worlds were hit by a meteor. A new competitor, a new technology or a different marketplace may have made the need to adapt a matter of survival.
Individual contributors are expected to possess a wider variety of skills to keep up with ever-changing demands. People who are too set in their ways may be facing a rude awakening.
Salespeople working in B2B, unregulated markets need to be more prepared than ever before. Just as it is easier to research a potential customer, prospects also have more tools at their disposal. They are able to learn a tremendous amount about a company, a solution and pricing. Before a salesperson ever sets foot in their office, customers may feel they already have enough data to make an informed decision.
Realizing that there is no one way to sell and changing things up to adjust to changing circumstances can help salespeople to stand out among a sea of competitors.
- Nolan Ryan, Ryan Express Account Planning Know Your Players Know Your Client Prepare Research