Baseball is one of the most precisely counted games. There are stats for every situation. Horse racing is about the same. Last weekend I attended both venues and was reminded about a valuable sales technique.
I was talking with my brothers-in-law at the Cubs game about sales and selling — the game was against the Mets and not very exciting. We talked about how baseball is all stats. We ended the weekend at Arlington Park watching the horses run. Again, the betting book was full of statistics on each horse. We talked about keeping the same stats on our performance. Not the typical human relations stuff, but strickly on performance in specific situations.
One of my brothers-in-law, who is a great salesperson, said that when he gets a sales ‘no,’ it’s worth $50. He knows that, because he is one-tenth of the way to a ‘yes.’ His closing ratio is 10% and the 10th is a $500 payoff so each ‘no’ (and one yes) is worth $50. (Numbers have been changed in the story to protect the innocent and my note-taking.)
Every baseball player who stepped up to bat in Wrigley had his batting averaged displayed for all to see. Could you operate that way? We are all quick to ask for ROI for one advertising medium over another, but what about our direct sales efforts?
In the book, The Numbers Game: Baseball’s Lifelong Fascination with Statistics, it states you can look up that “Nolan Ryan had a 1.78 groundball-to-flyball ratio in 1974.” Do you even know your best days for sales? Are Mondays better for calls than Tuesdays? Do long proposals have a better closing average than short proposals? How do you perform in the rain, at night or before a holiday? It would be hard to count (and a bit mind-numbing) but imagine knowing the best day, best time and best people to have on your sales lineup for the big sales game. And, imagine the confidence-building power of knowing that every ”no” has a real value.