I read Dave Kurlan’s blog post about Bill Walton and Coach John Wooden. In Dave’s blog, he talks about Walton’s view on success: ‘The only difference between successful salespeople and the other 77% is that the successful sales people actually do the very things they don’t like doing.” Dave uses role-playing as an example. I see this all the time! Ask someone to role-play in front of the group and they shut tight like a clam. How can you possibly get better at pressure situations if you don’t practice under pressure? That’s a blog post for another day.
Bill has published and is now marketing his book, Back from the Dead. I read a couple of lines from an interview with GQ and immediately went to my Amazon add-in and downloaded the book with my 1-click.
Wow, there’s a couple of blog posts regarding that inspiration and buying experience right there, but I’ll give you the bullets instead.
- I read an article that got my attention.
- I clicked on a button in my Firefox ribbon at the top of my page.
- I searched Amazon for “Bill Walton”.
- The book popped up.
- I clicked on the little thing on the right side of the page that said “Buy Now using 1-click.”
- I wanted the Kindle version so I could read it on the plane without carrying a big book, so when Amazon asked me if I wanted it downloaded to my iPhone, I clicked “yes.”
- This all took less than a minute.
- And that, my friends, is today’s sales cycle.
In your sales world, it might not take as many steps or it might be more, but don’t get hung up on the number of steps. In your sales cycle, it probably takes more than a minute… maybe 30 days, maybe 120, maybe a year.
Bottom line: There is something that stimulates the buyer. The buyer gets the information they want and then… when they want to buy… they want to make the process easy and they want options. If you are not doing those things (stimulating the buying response – providing information to make a buying decision – giving them options – making it easy), then you are going to lose the sale to those that do those things. Not only will you lose occasionally, but sooner or later, it will become a permanent condition.
Now, my favorite Bill Walton and John Wooden story.
Watch the video to get the whole story, but in short, the sales leader lesson is this:
- You’ve been hired to do a job – drive sales growth/win basketball games
- Part of that responsibility is to put the best team in the market/on the court
- As the coach, you establish the culture for wining/you set the team rules
- You can lead people but you cannot manage them – players have free will
- If someone violates the rules, something has to be done – bend the rules, keep the rules
- If a sales person wants to exert their independence, let them. But let them do it somewhere else.
- They have to want to play for you and win more than compete against you and lose.
- Unless you have strong leadership, the money you spend on sales training is wasted. STOP wasting money. In addition to great players, the key to a sales team built for growth is great sales management LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT. Read more about our Sales Management Certification.
- Make sure you get great players who are committed to winning for you – Hirebettersalespeople.com
- Get insight on the 9 Keys of Sales Management - Booklet