Winning the close ones

Column by Michael Norton


Do you ever wonder how some people, teams, and even businesses win the close ones? They just seem to be able to narrowly defeat an opponent in the final seconds or even on the final play of a game or match.

And then there are certain businesses and sales people that seem to attract and then win customers even though features and functions of their products and services as well as price are so close to that of the competitor, yet they find a way to win the business anyway.

What’s the difference, how do they win the close one?

In Tim Tebow’s book “Through My Eyes” (which by the way I highly encourage you to read) , he talks about a thought that he has while he is training – when he feels like he wants to give up. He thinks about his competition and that someone out there is trying harder and is working harder than he right at that moment. So he keeps going.

That’s how one wins the close ones. You persist. You differentiate yourself.

As summer time approaches , it is easy to take time to rest and relax, and some might believe that it’s not a time to be persistent in their drive or approach to goals. Some sales people or businesses believe that their prospects / customers are on vacation, so they will not make the sales call or promote their business. And that’s exactly the same belief that your competitors may have…but then, again, maybe not…

Maybe, just maybe, your competitors will be doing that little extra something that separates them from the other “me too” businesses out there. There just might be a sales person that competes with you and doesn’t allow the preconceived notion that prospects and buyers take time off in the summer to even enter their mind.

And what about our own internal competitors that talk us into blowing off a run, hike, or workout? What about the internal competitor that says we can stray from any other goal we have set for ourselves, talking ourselves into believing we can pick it back up in September?

You see to win the close ones in all areas of life we have to do the little things that many of our competitors (even the internal ones) won’t do.

What are the little things you can do in advance of the summer to make sure that you are winning the close ones? I would love to hear all about it at and I have a feeling this really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former President of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and Founder of


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