You can almost smell the fresh grass clippings.
It’s about that time of year again. Time to dust off that old, trusty leather baseball mitt. Time for kids everywhere to flock to the little league fields, cheeks stuffed with Big League Chew, practicing hero worship in a way only kids can.
It’s also time for the big leaguers to get back to work after a long off-season of contract negotiations and practice swings in lonely batting cages.
It’s baseball season!
A time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and a chance at redemption. It coincides perfectly with the start of spring, a season that promises much of the same.
It’s a great game. It’s often referred to as America’s favorite pastime.
It’s a sport that’s brought us The Natural, The Sandlot, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and pretty much every other movie Kevin Costner has ever been in.
But did you know that baseball could also help you improve your selling strategy?
It’s true! Using the basic principles you already know about the game of baseball, you can effectively change the way you approach selling.
Think of it as a new language; one that baseball fans everywhere can understand.
Be sure to check out our FREE eBook, “How to Generate Leads From Your Website.”
Who is David Kurlan?
Back in January we interviewed David Kurlan, the best-selling author of Baseline Selling and leading expert on Sales Force Development.
Baseline Selling: How to Become a Sales Superstar Using What You Already Know About the Game of Baseball outlines an effective sales approach using the baseball diamond as the blueprint.
The basis for Kurlan’s writing was to basically overhaul what he viewed as a flawed sales approach in the 21st century by simplifying it using a basic system everyone could relate to.
“Seat of the pants selling doesn’t work at all and complicated systems and processes that people can’t remember or follow aren’t necessary,” Kurlan said. “Instead, you can have tremendous, consistent success by using a simple yet powerful, time-tested and proven process.”
So you’ve grabbed your Louisville Slugger off the bat rack and are ready to take a crack at today’s starting pitcher.
But before you enter the batters box, every hitter must first take his practice swings in the on deck circle to better prepare for the upcoming at-bat. After all, today’s pitcher could be throwing a nasty slider; you’ll want to be prepared.
As Kurlan notes in his field guide, the on deck circle of the sales process is all about planning and goal setting. You’ll first want to start out with an improved commitment to the sale. You’re trying a different approach, so be sure to fully immerse yourself and commit to the process.
You also want to set clear and concise goals. The goal for a batter is to always eventually score a run, however, you first must round the bases in order to put one on the board.
Once you’ve reached the plate for your at-bat, getting to first base is all about establishing a connection. If a prospect requests an appointment or consultation, or request for proposal, you’ve reached first base.
Reaching second base is all about establishing your prospects need, while also developing a relationship of understanding in order to connect better than a competitor could (after all, you don’t want to get picked-off on the base paths by a competitor!)
Second base is mainly focused on qualifying your prospect. Is there a need? If so, is it an urgent one? You’re qualifying the lead not only for the prospect themselves, but also for you and your company.
Runners in Scoring Position
In order to reach third base, you’ll need to finish qualifying your prospect at the same time the prospect is qualifying you.
Present a solution that meets the prospects need and budget.
Once you’ve reached third, it can be a very exciting, and also very distracting moment. Just remember, a base runner NEVER wants to get picked off at third base (don’t let your competitors swoop in with better offerings), or make the last out.
In the process of running home, the difference between being tagged out and scoring will be on you. Write an effective proposal, present it with passion to the prospect. If he knows you believe in it, than he will too!
If the prospect places an order, SCORE! Congratulations, you’ve slid safely into home and are on your way back to the dugout with a little dirt on your uniform. Nothing better!
For more ways to generate sales, check out our FREE eBook, “25 Simple Ways to Generate More Customers.”
Meanwhile, Back in the Dugout
Once you’ve scored a run and are back in the dugout spitting seeds and bantering with teammates, be sure to follow through with daily call summaries.
It’s also possible your newly acquired client will refer you to others, so be attentive and prepared to enter the batters box again. You’ll want to fill that scorecard with as many hits and runs as you can.
It would be impossible to completely detail the field guide in Kurlan’s book, but as we’ve briefly touched on here, it’s a process that anyone who understands baseball can quickly adopt.
It’s a system in the trust sense of the word. You can’t skip to third base from the batters box; you must follow through the necessary steps to get there.
With smart base running and effective planning, your sales approach will be scoring runs in no time.
So grab your glove, apply some eye black, and head to the fields! Buy some peanuts and cracker jacks, whatever suits your desires.
And always remember to root, root, root for the home team (the Yankees.)
- Many sales strategies are in need of overhaul, as studies have shown that the selling techniques of the last two decades have had very little impact on most of the sales population (less than 75%).
- By following a series of baseball related steps, you can more effectively track and succeed in your sales approach.
- Root for the Yankees.
If improving your marketing strategy is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.