Sales Calls are Like the 1978 AL Playoff Game
Last week I read a book about the one game playoff at the end of the 1978 baseball season between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. I watched that game – a very tense drama – and didn’t recover for weeks from the way it ended. I couldn’t believe that they were able to write a book that thick about a single game.
The introduction begins with Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski in his hotel room. He is unable to sleep while he imagines the playoff game coming down to him facing Yankee closer Goose Gossage with two men on and two out in the ninth inning. That’s the way Yaz prepared. He identified the likely situations in which he would be hitting and then imagined which pitches he would see, in which counts and in which locations. Then he identified the pitches he would swing at, how he would swing, what he would try to do, the counts in which he would do it, etc. In Carl’s Triple Crown winning season of 1967, when he led the American League in Batting, Home Runs and Runs Batted In, he went through that routine every single evening in preparation for the next day’s game.
The introduction continues with Rich (Goose) Gossage, in his hotel room, unable to sleep. He was figuring that the game would come down to him against Carl Yastrzemski in the ninth inning. Goose began to prepare by thinking about which pitches he would throw and where he would locate them in order to get Yaz out.
So here we have two stars of the game, obsessing over how their upcoming interaction would go, what might happen and how they would respond. It’s not only a great example of visualization and preparation, it is practice at its best.
Do you do that? Do you visualize, role-play, rehearse, and prepare for your calls? Or, are you so good that you don’t have to?
What would happen if you began to obsessively prepare like that – especially now – especially in these times?
Try it for one week and let me know what happens.