One of the things I like bet about baseball is the possibility of a pitcher throwing a perfect game. No other sport offers such a finite example of doing the job right. Is it possible is sales to be perfect? Selling your services to possible clients is another matter. Although one can draw parallels between sports and sales there are some differences. Do you have to be perfect to be able to execute a sale? Thank goodness that you in fact don’t have to be perfect to get someone to purchase from you. With that in mind, let’s go over what it takes to perform at the highest level in a quest to attain perfection.
Mind Like Water
How many times have you seen sales people “over-celebrate” both success and failure? You and your sales team could learn a lesson from any pitcher who is on the brink of throwing a perfect game. Observe his “mind-like-water” state of mind. Just like throwing a perfect game in baseball, striving for perfection in sales takes concentration and the ability to eliminate distraction. Giving your success or failure too much credence is the sign of a loser. A real pro knows that if you just closed a deal, you are thinking, “What’s next?” If you lost a deal, that same high performer asks, “What did I miss?” Either way in the life of a perfect performer, opportunity is waiting around the corner.
Ability to Concentrate Is Key
Watch a video replay of a perfect game and look at how the fans, announcers and teammates are going crazy in anticipation while the pitcher remains calm like the eye of the storm. Watch them in the dugout and you’ll see someone who has chosen to isolate themselves from any distractions. Even separating himself from his own teammates. Think about the sales calls where you become distracted by tough buyers who are bent on out negotiating your sales person. Do you people “lose it” when faced with pressure? Or do you calmly respond with a question that moves them closer to getting a deal?
Having a Short Memory Helps
I remember in 2009 when Mark Buerhle from the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game. The funny thing about Buerhle is that his last start against the Minnesota Twins resulted in him getting shellacked. Obviously he has the ability to remain “in the moment” and deal with the task at hand and not think about the past or the future. As sales professionals we could learn a lot from this performance indeed. Your sales team should know by now that thoughts of failure or success from the past have nothing to do with the situation you currently face. You must forget the past other than the lessons leaned and stay in the moment as well.
Can We Really Be Perfect?
I am really not sure if there is something like a perfect game in selling. Any pitcher in baseball who throws a perfect game always includes some hairy moments. You may even say that they were lucky in many ways. I think that top performers always look lucky, They always seem to get the “good calls.” They make what others think is impossible look easy. Think about it this way. If you strive for perfection and fall just short of perfect but still win the game by getting the sale, you are still doing great.
Yes, in sales you don’t have to be perfect to get the results you want, But you do have to stay poised, concentrate, stay in the moment and have the ability to respond in tough situations. Get your team to do those things and maybe your sales results will go down as legendary in your sales team.