What if I told you that less than .5% of baseball players will be drafted – and only 10% of that group will ever make it to the majors? And, if you look at those who last more than 5 years, the number drops dramatically again.
How can you learn from those players who make it 20+ years in the major league? What did they do differently to become more consistently successful throughout their careers? And, what does this have to do with your sales team?
At the ripe old age of 3, my baseball career began. Every weekend I joined my T-Ball team at the park and we played our hearts out. The reason people enjoy watching little kids play sports is the chaos than ensues right from the beginning. Frankly, we had no concept of how the game was supposed to be played, but we sure had fun. As I grew older, our games began to have more structure. Suddenly, it wasn’t kids running the bases backwards or picking dandelions in the outfield, we really had to compete. Practices became a time to learn discipline and acumen.
When I reached high school, varsity was my goal and I knew it would take my full commitment and all of the discipline and skills I had learned. Fortunately, I was well prepared – I never had to ask the question, “What should I be doing?”
I was taught to have a consistent plan in order to accomplish each task, and if I followed the structure of the program, I would be successful. All aspects of my playing abilities improved. Knowing that I had a plan for any situation, I was more confident at bat and in the field. I was no longer a player with hot and cold streaks. The consistency of my game drew the attention of scouts, and I was even selected as one of sixty players in the nation as an Aflac All-American.
Soon, I was a collegiate athlete. I was learning more than I could ever imagine. It has been said that practice makes perfect, but nothing could be further from the truth. During practice, I was constantly told to fix this or fix that with my swing. Quickly, I learned that only perfect practice makes perfect. Anyone can do the wrong thing over and over again, but if you aren’t doing it right, you’re practicing wrong. All of the small tweaks to my game that were being reinforced daily suddenly became second nature and success followed.
My baseball career ended after college. I watched as fellow athletes were drafted and I began to wonder. What made them better than I was? Was it that their talent was far superior or was it something else? In the end, the answer was not a surprise.
The difference depends on how they structure and plan for the game. Even though I had a plan, theirs was more effective. The slight changes in the structure of their approach increased their chances of making a better play, getting 1 or 2 more hits per game, and over time, dramatically increasing their numbers. The best of the best have figured out that slight changes create big differences in outcome.
That same thinking makes all the difference in prospecting, and building a sales pipeline full of qualified leads. The best sales people are not better because their talent is far superior. They have learned that having a highly structured plan to create first appointments with the right people gives them a significant advantage.
They know how to handle every prospecting situation flawlessly — they practice and stick to their plan. The secret to selling is having more opportunities to tell your story to people who are genuinely interested in what you sell, and the number one frustration is knowing who to call, when to call them, what to say and when to say it? What if your team had a structure and plan that answered all of those questions?
Second, what if you could teach that structure and plan to any rep regardless of experience or industry expertise? Finally, what if your team could repeat that process and multiply success?
Slight changes are the ones that are often overlooked, but make the most impact. On a 90 mph pitch in baseball, the batter has about .33 seconds to recognize the pitch and swing. If they are one-tenth of a second off, the result is a swing and a miss.
How many times has your team been that close to a hit, but missed? At FRONTLINE Selling®, we teach sales teams how to be more effective at creating those first meaningful conversations with their prospective clients.
We know that having a consistent, proven plan creates very different outcomes. Let us show you how your team can become Hall of Famers today.