Why the Best Salespeople get Lucky

Have a Lucky Day!

Garret Norris | KONA Group CEO

All through my sales career and even today people have commented on how “lucky” I am… My response has been and will continue to be, “It’s hard work being this lucky”.

When I had large teams of salespeople, throwing “luck” in as a conversation sometimes helped but they also knew how unreliable it is. I have seen luck occasionally give lift to morale, but attributing success or failure to random outside factors drains salespeople’s willingness to try new strategies and they sometimes use it as an excuse (“Oh I was just unlucky with that deal“).

Consequently, I urge sales managers to de-emphasise luck, instead stressing the importance of stable, measurable, and controllable factors such as motivation and activity = results.

Activity leads to results.

To find out more contact the KONA Group 1300 611 288 | info@kona.com.au

But if you choose to ignore “luck” altogether, you stand to fall behind competitors who have learned how to manage it.

Manage it? Yes: In my experience, luck should be viewed as a controllable determinant of salespeople’s achievement. Success derives not from effort alone but from a combination of effort, thus, creating “luck”. An understanding of luck’s synergistic role in success can improve performance and increase young salespeople’s confidence in the face of uncertainty and failure.

I have conducted many exploratory interviews with salespeople, including successful sales professionals and new salespeople, and research involving over 250 salespeople who sold many different products and services. The salespeople all had territories and targets and used a customer-relationship-management system.

Through this process I found that experienced salespeople can tell many tales of luck, and they tend to say that an important factor in their jobs is provoked luck: unexpected events that come about because their strategic behaviour has maximised the opportunities.

An example of provoked luck is one of my team who first lost a key account, then won it back because he called them every three months, emailed them relevant information and made sure that he remained their “strategic adviser” (see below KONA’s Six Levels of a Sales Professional).

Then, as “luck” would have it, he had an opportunity to help an executive of the client with industry advice, and the client put in a good word for him (this salesperson was always getting himself into lucky circumstances!!!).

The six stages of a sales professional.

To find out more contact the KONA Group 1300 611 288 | info@kona.com.au

My research findings involving salespeople has allowed me to estimate the importance of luck-related events in selling.

For example, following our sales training, a particularly renowned company’s sales team of 70 people sold more than $1.32M in services in one quarter – and they attributed more than two-thirds of the revenue to luck.

In fact, of more than $430,000 raised in selling, about 60% came from what they call “luck circumstances,” with the rest deriving from standard sales processes. From 76% to 88% of the “luck” circumstances were incidences of “provoked luck”. LUCKY, THEY HAD THE TRAINING!!!!

My research findings involving salespeople has allowed me to estimate the importance of luck-related events in selling.

To find out more contact the KONA Group 1300 611 288 | info@kona.com.au

The numbers would no doubt vary somewhat in other contexts, but I’m confident that provoked luck – that is, activity – is part of sales success in many if not all segments (but my question is, if no activity happened would they have been so lucky?).

So how do you manage this hugely important sales input?

The key is – belief.

I found that the greater a salesperson’s belief that success is a combination of luck and effort and that good luck will come, the greater a person’s sales activities, such as making phone calls, meeting prospects, qualifying prospects, and gathering intelligence about prospects and competitors.

The greater the sales activities, the greater the opportunities for luck and the greater the person’s provoked luck. The greater the provoked luck, the higher the performance.

Quantity, Direction, Quality.

To find out more contact the KONA Group 1300 611 288 | info@kona.com.au

Belief in the power of luck seems to boost self-assurance, thereby helping experienced sales professionals remain optimistic in the face of setbacks and assisting inexperienced salespeople in overcoming uncertainty and fear of failure.

These factors are critical in helping salespeople maintain motivation and job satisfaction. They also matter a lot in reducing turnover, especially for new salespeople.

Not only does a belief in luck boost sales behaviours, but it works the other way around too: sales behaviours can set the stage for improved luck.

Here are a few such behaviours that your sales team can be trained in:

  • Building a strong pipeline: Salespeople should be trained to search for knowledge about customers, prospects, competitors, and the overall market. The more field intelligence a salesperson has, the smarter (or “luckier”) they become.
  • Manage the Key Accounts: Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills to learn. Communication is defined as transferring information to produce greater understanding. The quality of our communication can only be measured by the response we receive from the other person, do not blame the other person if they don’t understand you!
  •  Managers should be setting high goals: I’m not talking about targets. I’m talking about number of calls, numbers of meeting and real measurable activities, such as trying to surpass one’s past performance. Salespeople should be encouraged to adopt such goals, because they drive forward-looking behaviours. Ambitious goals make salespeople more creative and strategic.
  • Negotiate to sell more value:  Poor sales negotiating may be costing you as much as 50% of your net profit. Economic uncertainty has taught customers to push hard on price and terms, and even relatively receptive buyers use aggressive negotiation techniques. For sellers, the impact on average price can be as much as 5%, which in turn can represent up to 50% of net profits.

To learn how to MAKE YOUR SALES TEAM “LUCKY” contact KONA: 1300 611 288 for a confidential conversation, or Email us at info@kona.com.au today.


Is your team due for a Sales Health Check in preparation for a productive 2021?

A Sales Health Check is an objective review of your Sales team. It highlights potential weaknesses in your team and strategy, but also builds on your areas of strength and growth.

With the challenges faced by the pandemic , how healthy is your team’s Sales capability?  Let’s think of COVID as a pot of boiling water. Now think of the egg and potato analogy. The same boiling water that softens the potato, also hardens the egg. Who in your team has come out of the pandemic soft and who has come out hard? Surely having resilient employees would be of great benefit and value to any organisation?

Hard Egg Soft Potato Image for Resilience Training


  A Sales Health Check, like all health checks, is crucial for your business’ optimal growth. Strong Leaders conduct Sales Health Checks often and that is the difference between exponential growth and remaining stagnant. Consider these 5 Sales Health Check Factors:



  • Do you have a Sales strategy that outlines, applies and measures daily activities for your team?
  • Is your team’s current activity mapped to SMART goals with Effective Communication?
  • Does your Sales team make use of multiple channels to generate leads?
  • Do they have absolute clarity around the profile of their customer? Do they understand their Customer’s DNA Profile?
  • Have you clearly articulated to your team the company’s point of difference when compared to your competitors?
  • What is your company’s Value Proposition?

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



  • Do your Salespeople follow an Effective Pipeline Management procedure? That is, do they know the number of visits, contacts, leads, prospects and customers they need each month, every month, to hit KPI?
  • What online presence do you have? How effective and up to date is it?
  • Do you have a current corporate page for LinkedIn?
  • Do you share posts on your LinkedIn page weekly?
  • What message is your team’s individual LinkedIn Profiles saying about the brand?
  • Do you publish a blog regularly and directly on your site? (a minimum of once per week)
  • Is every blog optimised for keywords and features a compelling call to action? If not, then get your company to POP out online and contact the KONA Group 1300 833 574 | info@KONA.com.au to get your Powerful Online Presence Training ASAP.

laptop with words Powerful Online Presence with KONA logo and man dialling mobile number 1300 833 574



  • Do your Salespeople know how to map the journey their prospects will take through the buying process?
  • Do they know how to have engaging conversations on the phone, as well as face to face?
  • Are they mastering the art of Effective Questioning to reach their customer’s pain points?
  • What are their listening skills like? Huh? Are they listening to their customers, or just hearing them?

llama clipart black and white image with sunglasses on saying I hear you I'm just not listening




Think, are your Salespeople:

  • Struggling to meet KPIs?
  • Sticking to existing clients only and “scared” of finding new customers?
  • Unable to generate leads?
  • Not wanting to “annoy” current leads?
  • Unaware of the core processes of prospecting?
  • Lack skills to keep their Pipeline active?
  • Unclear of distinguishing features from benefits?
  • Awkward and uneasy talking to decision makers and leaders?
  • Failing to revisit old leads regularly?
  • Stuck in the mindset that ‘sales is evil’?
  • Have a poor sales conversion rate?
  • Do not know the techniques to gain repeat business and upsell?
  • Blame shift – excuses dominate poor performance and missing targets?

click here to contact the KONA Group red button or call 1300 611 288



Measure the effectiveness of your Sales team and create productive, supported and balanced Salespeople.

  • Can you easily track conversion rates at each stage of the pipeline?
  • Can you easily work out the ROI for each customer targeted?
  • What system and processes do you have in place?
  • Do you know how satisfied your customers really are?

To get a Sales Health Check ASAP, contact the KONA Group 1300 833 574 or email info@KONA.com.au for a crucial conversation.