Sales Strike Outs
The vast majority of this baseball nation does not want to hear this, but the Red Sox won the World Series two nights ago.
I bet there's nothing quite like the feeling of walking through the dugout and high-fiving your teammates after having gone yard (interpretation for the uninitiated: hit a homerun), especially at a key moment. With few exceptions, there is nothing in sales that can compare.
One similarity we do have with baseball is the slump. Before hitting a home run, Mookie Betts went “0 for Los Angeles.” That is, he hadn't had a hit in the three games played away from Fenway Park. Every salesperson knows that feeling, one where bad days turn into bad weeks turn into bad months.
What these high highs and low lows have in common is they are finite. Hit a home run, round the bases, slap your teammates, then get over yourself. Fail to reach base time after time, but know that it can all change with the swing of the bat.
The challenge comes in handling the mental part.
Let's say you are on a winning streak. Every phone call seems to result in a new sale. Your tendency is to stop prospecting because your mind tells you it's more important to take care of incoming business than it is to go find new stuff. But then one day, it all stops. Everything has shipped and you’ve got nothing left behind it.
Harder, still, is when you are in a rut (as I was yesterday morning). It's hard to remember when you are down that this too shall pass, even if you know that to be true. Self-doubt sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear and for some reason, you are willing to listen and believe every word.
The next time this happens to you, take this piece of advice: Pick up the phone and call someone and find out how they are doing. We all know someone who is struggling but during our times of self-pity, we forget that the way out of our own dungeon is to bring encouraging thoughts to someone else.
The morning sun greets everyone the same way. For the victors, there's a parade, then a break, then a fresh start: zero wins, zero losses. For the vanquished, there are lessons, then a break, then a fresh start: zero wins, zero losses.
Either way, the future is the same: There's always next year.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.