- April 24, 2015
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
This week we found ourselves sitting in camp chairs, bundled up in warm coats, wearing winter gloves and covered in blankets, to watch our son play on his Middle School baseball team. The only thing this team could win is the Bad News Bears Look-Alike Contest. He also plays on a very talented travel team, so this school game was not only awful to watch, it was doubly awful because of the winter weather. Yes, there was snow in the air. We will attend nearly every single 1 of the 100 games he will play for 5 teams this year. Many people would say that…
- We aren’t required to go (some parents drop-off.)
- He doesn’t ask us to watch (he’s very independent.)
- We don’t have to attend as many as we do (half would be more than most parents.)
- It is rarely convenient (some games are at 3:30 PM.)
- Games are rarely played in beautiful weather (too hot in July and August, too cold in April, and too wet or humid the rest of the time).
- There is rarely comfortable seating (thus the not quite as uncomfortable camp chairs).
- There are other things we need to do.
- Double Headers on Saturdays and Sundays take up most of the weekend.
- School games and Little League games on the same day take up most of the afternoon and evening.
- It’s baseball – a slow, boring game for those who don’t know the game within the game.
So why do we do this?
Commitment. We have discussed commitment a LOT in this Blog recently because many people misunderstand the role it plays in successful selling. Read any of these articles for more on commitment.
So let me help. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to give our son whatever he needs in order to thrive. With his talent in this sport, baseball is one of the opportunities we provide him with and doing whatever it takes to watch him play is one of the unconditional commitments we make. Speaking of baseball, check out these new visual statistics being provided by MLB. Does it get you thinking about the additional things you could measure in sales? How about the additional things that we can measure?
In sales, most salespeople, especially the bottom 74%, don’t do whatever it takes to succeed. For example, if the company, quota, expectations and goals were your child, and you had similar values for your son or daughter, would you:
- Postpone filling your pipeline?
- Give up when you finally get a decision-maker on the phone because the prospect is too difficult to convert?
- Not advocate for yourself when faced with tough competition, a tougher prospect, or objections?
- Not thoroughly qualify an opportunity the way you would qualify the friends your son or daughter hangs out with or a trip they might take?
- Not challenge a prospect when their thinking or strategy isn’t quite what it could or should be?
- Not talk about money because it’s uncomfortable?
- Not point out, defend and brag about the value the way you would brag about your children?
- Not do whatever it takes to get a closable opportunity closed?
But that is exactly what the majority of salespeople are doing. They half-sell. They aren’t thorough, or effective, or efficient, or memorable, or resilient, or tenacious, or assertive, because they aren’t comfortable doing those things. Because they don’t equate those things as being the business equivalent of their own children, for whom they would do whatever it takes. Especially if it’s uncomfortable. Whatever it takes. That’s what commitment is. It’s not work ethic-silly. Anyone can put in long hours. It’s about doing all of the necessary things despite being uncomfortable. Whatever it takes. I found the trademarked image at the top of this article from Jansen Sports Leadership Center.
Jonathan Farrington interviewed me for the cover feature in this week’s edition of Top Sales Magazine. The topic is the importance of getting sales selection right.
Coincidentally, the latest edition of Top Sales Academy is also out this week with me presenting, How to Coach Salespeople Like a Pro and it’s free, available on demand, and really useful. Are you a committed sales leader or sales manager? One of the things you must do is get better at coaching. So what are you waiting for?
Commitment Continuum is a trademark of the Jansen Sports Leadership Center and the image is from their website.