Jam Shots, Duck Snorts and Seeing-Eye Singles
The Difference between average and a Leader?
One measly little hit a week.
It's the middle of August, the "Dog Days" of summer are upon us, and the baseball season, like your sales year, is winding down. The best teams are still in the hunt for a playoff berth and the best players are contributing to their teams' success and generating some very interesting statistics.
As you know, Baseball is all about the numbers. Sometime those stats can mirror facts about our own sales career and what little difference there is between good and great. Let's look at the race for the National League's batting crown for a perfect example.
Carlos Gonzales is having a fantastic rookie season and is currently leading the NL in Batting Average. He's sporting a .323 Average with 136 hits in 421 at bats.
There are a few other players in striking distance of Carlos for the title but that's not where the real story is. I believe Garret Jones of the hapless Pittsburgh Pirates speaks volumes about how little it takes to become the best in your business.
Garrett Jones is 52 players away from Carlos with a .263 average - 111 hits in 422 at bats. He's wonderfully average, making a nice living, playing a game some of us would even play for free.
So what's the difference between the two? Only 25 hits. Over 19 weeks of baseball and 113 games the only thing separating #1 from #53 is 25 measly little hits. One more duck snort, Baltimore chop, or seeing-eye single a week and Mr, Jones is probably looking at a million dollar plus contract next year.
And what, pray tell, does this have to do with you and your sales career? Lots.
We teach that R= F x C. Revenue (R) is created when you apply your Competencies (C) in appropriate Frequencies (F). So, your success in sales is created by improving your skills or perfecting where you spend your time. And many times, a minor improvement in either can allow you to get that one additional hit it takes to consistently catapult you to the top of the leaderboard.
So, the questions to ask yourself:
Are you taking enough swings? Are you putting yourself in front of enough prospects and customers? You can't hit the ball if you keep the bat on your shoulder.
What kind of hitter are you? Understand your strengths and focus on those. Who are your "Red Zone" prospects and opportunities? Stay in that zone. A singles hitter shouldn't try to hit home runs and a big bopper doesn't bunt.
How productive is your batting practice? When and where are you perfecting your skills and honing your craft? If you're only taking your cuts during the game you'll never improve. Find places to practice. Videotape yourself and observe from a customer viewpoint - would you buy from you? Leave yourself a 30 second speech on your voicemail - would you return a call from you?
Lastly, do you have a good hitting coach? Sales is a very solitary profession and the opportunity for feedback is sometimes limited to whether or not you got the deal. Solicit your peers and your managers. Ask them to observe you during a roleplay or during a sales call. Have them view your presentation, listen to a voice mail message, or watch you in action. Create a good network or find a great mentor and heed their advice.
Remember, it's the work during spring training and in the batting cages, before and after a game that allows you to get that one extra hit which separates the best from the rest.
Enjoy the Playoffs!
Midwest Office - M3 Learning