I’m reading Fast Company magazine this morning and realize I don’t get out of it what I used to. It’s probably a combination of how I’ve changed, how our company has changed and how the magazine has changed. This got me thinking about articles I’ve ready about how selling has changed and the ‘keys’ to selling in today’s market.
I did a quick Google search; ‘keys to sales success’, and here are some of the articles.
- Inc. – Four Keys to Sales Success
- Rainsalestraining.com – Sales Prospecting: 6 Keys to Success
- Forbes – 3 Powerful Skills You Must Have to Succeed in Sales
- Sales Force Blog Post – 4 Keys to Epic Sales Success This Yea
But this is what I think – the keys to successful selling really haven’t changed that much if at all.
In 2005 I read Dave Kurlan’s book Baseline Selling. Dave took the fundamentals of effective selling and used the baseball diamond and baseball terminology to explain his sales process. He have If you think about baseball, or look at old baseball videos or pictures you will find that today the game is essentially exactly the same game that was formulized in New York about 1840.
I am convinced that the ‘game’ of selling is exactly the same game that Frank Bettger (Author of How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling) was playing in 1952. I read this book over 15 years ago but I didn’t know this fact about Frank until today – He play professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. With that in mind let’s stick with the baseball theme.
The Rules of The Game For Successful Selling (even today
- Take batting practice every day - practice
- Take what the pitcher gives you – focus on what problem your prospect has to solve. Leave your product briefcase and brochures in the car.
- Swing at YOUR pitch – Just like a batter faces lots of pitches and only are a few are ones he can really connect with, you will face lots of prospects but only work with those that you can really work with and help.
- When the 1st base coach is waving you to keep going, go to second base. When you find out that your prospect has a ‘have to fix’ problem that doesn’t mean you try and steal home. Go to second and make sure they have the money to fix the problem. Go to 3rd to make sure they are committed to investing the time, money or resources to fix the problem. Before you head for home make sure you can score when you get there – the prospect is committed to making a decision.
- In the first inning you might strike out, hit into a double play, walk to first, get hit by a pitch get stranded on first etc. – you have to shake all of that off because you have 8 more innings to play – anything can happen as long as you keep going and getting at bats.
Drafting better players – Hirebettersalespeople.com
Sales Management – 9 Keys to Coaching Sales Success
Free book for your salespeople – Why is Selling So Damn Hard?