Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Play baseball on your next sales call.

Posted in Personal Development, Selling by elephanthunters on August 13, 2009

I remember getting my first baseball bat and ball when I was a kid and running out into the backyard ready to smash the tar out of that new ball.  Whenever my dad would pitch to me I was on cloud nine, and just like every other kid my age I was now on the fast track to become the next Babe Ruth.

I did face the problem that most aspiring ball players face during that season of life which was that  I wanted to hit the ball more than people wanted to spend time pitching it to me.  I formulated two solutions in an attempt to overcome this dilemma.

  1. Tie a rope around the ball, throw the rope over a tree branch and swing away.  This worked.  Sometimes.  However, after one solid hit the ball usually flew out of the yellow nylon rope and it took forever to get it tied back just right.  This was not a good plan since you only had so much time before the sun set to get your batting practice in.
  2. Self pitch.  This method requires a lot of focus for a nine year old boy.  You simultaneously hold the bat in your right hand, toss the ball up with your left hand high enough to give you time to grab the bat with both hands and take a swing as the ball plummets back to the ground.

The problem with these methods is they are both awkward. They are also inaccurate training for a real game scenario.  They do very little to actually prepare you for a ball being pitched to you with velocity from the pitchers mound.  They also don’t allow you to hit the ball very far.  A ball that is pitched to you will travel much farther than one that is horizontally static because the contact with the bat not only applies new force to the ball but it actually re-directs the momentum the ball already has.

Here’s how this applies in selling:

We often tend to be self promoting in an effort to build credibility and trust.  It’s extremely difficult to do this without sounding cocky plus it’s awkward for both you and the prospect (i.e. trying to pitch to yourself).  It’s extremely dangerous to ever say anything that is self promoting.  But what if you really need that credibility to be established?  What if you really do have things that if your prospect just knew about you would lead to them respecting you more?  How do you communicate those things??  You get someone to pitch to you.  Here are 3 action points you can start applying today to get someone to pitch to you:

  • Get a written testimony from an existing client about how great your product is and be sure it includes something about how great it was to work with YOU…how fun you were to work with,  how diligent you were to get them the best price, how you went out of your way to serve them.  We ask for testimonies about our product all the time but why not ask for it to include something about your character.
  • Coach your references on how to talk about you.  Let them know that you’re counting on them to build you up for the sake of the prospect and that you don’t feel comfortable bragging on yourself.  They’ll get it and they’ll be happy to brag on you if you just ask them to and explain the goal behind this method.
  • Take an associate with you to a sales call or meeting.  This always adds what’s called Third Party Credibility.  Talk through the dynamics of the meeting ahead of time and agree to promote each other and set each other up to win during the meeting.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a peer, your boss, or a subordinate.  Just having them there changes the dynamic considerably.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11: 2

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One Response

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  1. Evan T said, on August 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Seems like great speakers have a good sense of a self-depricating humor.

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