Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Sport of Sales

Is Sales a game? Is it a sport? If so, does it have rules? All major sports have 3 distinctive things. Opposing sides, rules, and referees. Oh, and as I learned later in life, a sport has to allow the other team to be able to prevent you from winning, otherwise it is a competition. Hockey has a goaltender to stop the other team from scoring (it is a sport), Golf does not have holetenders (it is a competition). So I ask you again, is sales a sport?

My answer is Yes, it is a sport.
There are competitors. Often more than one team at a time, but there is definitely competition.   
There are rules. These rules are set by the prospect (also the referee), most of the time. In the absence of these rules the game is governed by “common law rules”. Common law rules include things like being ethical and honest, you know, like the golden rule. Sell like you would like to be sold to. There is obviously a lot of gray area here as you know. Never be surprised if the referee, posing as a prospect, throws a flag when you get into the gray area.
If you present right, you can even block an opponent’s shot. By placing your solution between the opposition and the goal, you have the ability to block their attempt. Positioning can be everything.

If you are playing sales like a sport while others are playing like a competition, you have a huge advantage. However, if you play overly aggressive, break, or bend the rules, you may be penalized.