This is a blog where I will share my thoughts on Technology, Technical Sales and Technical Demos. I have spent over 30 years working in and with technology, helping people to understand what and why they should buy. All Sales, especially Technical Sales is situational, so there are solid foundations, but no absolutes. I will contradict myself from post to post on what you should do in the sales process. This is by design. This is where my thoughts should make the readers stop and think, Hmmm.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Do you Sell like Football or Football?
I have been watching the European
Football championships. I like
soccer, which is what we in America call what the rest of the world calls Football.
Fun game, lots of setting up and them flashes of action when headed to the
goal, trying to put the ball in the twine.
I also like Football, by that I mean
American Football which is a cross between rugby and rollerball. Football is a sport
of plans and plays to drive the length of the field for a score with the
pigskin. So when you sell, do you sell like Football, or Football?
Everyone has a sales style. Created or evolved, you have
one. So is it more like Football (Soccer) or Football? Let me see if I can help
you understand. Oh, I know these are not all inclusive and I’m taking a lot of
Soccer is a game that many Americans find boring, they miss
the fluid strategy and on the fly decision making (often called being clever by
announcers) that setup exciting scoring opportunities. One on one a goalie has
little chance in stopping a striker from scoring. There are few times when the
other 10 players on the pitch allow a one on one opportunity. In order to score,
a player must use his teammates to move the ball into position, sometimes
passing it backwards, giving up distance to get a better angle. All of this
happens on the fly, no time to stop and make a plan. You have to really know
your teammates to make it work.
Trying a Clever move...
Football is a game that gets an Americans blood pumping.
Baseball may be America’s Pastime, Football is America’s Lust. In Football,
Plans are made to move the ball forward. You know you have 4 attempts to move
the ball at least 10 yards to get another set of 4 downs to keep moving the
ball forward. It is less important to make decisions on the fly, if the right
play was called against the defense. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has
to get done. Pound the ball up the middle, as Ohio State Football coach Woody Hayes said, 3 yards
and a cloud of dust. Football is a team sport, if you don’t do your assigned
task, the play fails and you might lose the game.
This is a tackle..
So is your sales process well defined and documented? Do you
have a plan when you start? Know how you are going to leverage your team and
what roles they need to play? Looking to move the process forward each time you
have a prospect touch? Are you able to project sales from your pipeline? If so,
your sales process is like American Football.
If your process didn’t match the one above, is it less
defined? Is your process ad hoc? Does everyone do everything? Do your sales
linger a long time? Do you shy away from “hard” questions? Do you have a hard
time generating sales projections? If these match, you sell more like Soccer.
Now I’m not saying one is better than another, they are two
different sports and two different sales processes. If you sell like Football,
you will maximize your time with the prospects and allow you to handle more
sales. If you sell like Soccer, you will win deals that the Football
salesperson would have given up on or lost due to their style.
important thing is to know your style and to make the most of it so you don’t
end up in a Nil to Nil game.