The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Will you make Club?

For many of us, December means year-end and year-end means President’s Club; Quota Achievers; President’s Circle; or the like.  Annual quota attainment goes by many names in a sales professional’s world, true?  

My company announced 2011 President’s Club qualifiers last week.  My name wasn’t on the list.  Even though we have a couple of weeks left, I won’t make Club this year.  Will you?  No?  Stings, yes?  

After you’ve earned President’s Club recognition in your career, failing in any subsequent year stings.  But as you know, we compete for a living.  Adversity does not deter our commitment to sales success.  Last year was last year; we are ready to compete again every, new sales year as the score is reset to zero.  We know that: 

            Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal. 

                                  Mike Ditka 

I believe sales professionals work for commissions – but we will “run through walls” for recognition.  And the best-of-the-best earn President’s Club recognition.  In fact, at one company I worked for, we put the number of Clubs we earned right on our business cards.  It was the unit of measure that meant the most to us.  

So, if we didn’t make Club in 2011, we will “strap it on” in 2012 and give it another go, yes?  We can do it too, because sales professionals understand the meaning of the word persistence.  We are professionally persistent in our cold-calling; we persist when competing for a deal; and we persist when we occasionally miss Club.  It separates the best-of-the-best from all of the rest: 

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful individuals with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. 

                                  Calvin Coolidge 

Of course, there are those rare performers who earn President’s Club year in and year out.  I remember competing against such a person when I relocated to Denver in 1991.  It was the primary reason I was hired for the job.  Don Wall was Ceridian’s #1 sales rep for 26 straight years and never missed qualifying for their President’s Club.  Amazing!  It was known as Control Data then; I had also competed against that company going back to 1979 when it was known as the Service Bureau Corporation.  

I didn’t stop Don Wall’s string, but there was enough business for both of us to qualify for our Presidents’ Clubs.  He decided to retire two years after I moved in, his string of consecutive Clubs intact.  Mine, too. 

In recent years, quota attainment has been a bit more difficult, true?  Every year we set out to compete for Club.  And on those occasions when we fall a little short, it stings.  No, we don’t show it – we’re too proud.  We silently nurse our wounds, congratulate our colleagues who out-sold us, and quietly set our mind towards next year.  We are persistent, even in the face of adversity.  We are committed to achievement and personal success – it’s how a sales professional is “wired”. 

And after a successful 2012, when we are on the stage to receive our recognition, deep down inside we will tell ourselves we earned it by overcoming the adversity of 2011. 

            Adversity clarifies commitment.                  

                                  Gary A. Pokorn 

To our 2011 President’s Club colleagues – congratulations!  For the rest of us, 2012 can’t start soon enough. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.



  1. Nancy Burianek
    Dec 22, 2011

    AND you will focus on each day doing what YOU need to do rather than blaming, pointing fingers, and lamenting over the past. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jeff Braybrook
    Jan 04, 2012

    Nice article. Thanks!
    I worked for Control Data from 1976 to 1986 and I sold the big Cyber mainframe systems. Club was pretty much what drove me as a salesman. One of the coolest things about making club was the ring. It was a great big gold ring with the CDC logo in the middle and had a 19 year future. The first year you get the ring. For the next six there are slots for rubies – they are replaced one by one with Sapphires – then diamonds. I worked for a guy that had all 6 diamonds! Cool

    • Gary
      Jan 06, 2012

      Thanks for sharing Jeff! Sounds to me like CDC had a very cool way to celebrate Presidents Club!

  3. Jeff Braybrook
    Jan 04, 2012

    BTW, here is a photo of my ring. It was a Canadian program so there are maple leaves where the stones go

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