I have often said that sales and sports are one in
the same. The salesperson, like
the athlete, has to be assertive, competitive, tenacious, and must possess a
hate-to-lose mentality to be the best.
They need to be a catalyst to make the deals. They have to be able to create something out of
nothing. More importantly, they
have to know their own game, know it cold.
And when the playoffs arrive they’ll need to take their game to the next level.
Playoffs? In sales?
Is this where the comparison between sports and sales
ends? I mean, isn’t sales just one long
regular season, like tennis or golf, or Dancing with the Stars?
Sales has four playoff seasons called quarters—Q1-Q4. Each quarter the salesperson must hit
his quota, and if he’s struggling, if the days are slipping by too quickly,
those numbers can seem very large and impossible to reach. The salesperson’s season can quickly
become a do-or-die situation, and it’s not the golf course he’ll be hitting
when it’s over (like the professional athlete), but the unemployment line.
So, depending on what type of salesperson you are—one
who believes that there are no “throw away” regular season days, or one who’s
constantly in scramble mode looking for a way out—those final hours of each
quarter can have a very intense playoff-like atmosphere.
This is where, when talking about that “second
season,” the comparison between athlete and salesperson ends. You see, unlike the athlete who is at
the mercy of a specific calendar, the salesperson has the flexibility in every working day to create his own playoff atmosphere. He doesn’t have to wait for his playoffs to begin. No, he create the excitement of playoff sports no matter what time of day
it is. He undertstands that the
excitement he creates will lead to deals and a solid quarter. The good salesperson knows his playoff
schedule, that’s thing. The poor salesperson cannot see past
the square boxes on the calendar—April, May, June—and he doesn’t understand his
own work habit and what it takes to be successful.
athlete has to know his body; a salesperson has to know his work ethics. What do I need to do to close the deals and reach my number?
What’s the average number of calls and appointments I need make just to
close just one deal? At what time
of day am I closing most of my sales, in the morning or in the afternoon? What is my best day of the week? What’s the deal size? What size companies are buying from me,
small or large? What part of the
country are these companies based?
playoff-minded salesperson knows the answer to all these questions and more. He understands his game and he knows
that his playoff schedule—sometime during those ninety odd days in each quarter—never has to be a win-or-go home situation likes sports.