Doug Robinson, Robinson Training Solutions, LLC
Several years ago if you heard the name Buster Posey if would probably evoke an image of some southern bumpkin who probably lives two miles from the nearest dirt road. But this Buster is a local hero and made all of us in Leesburg, Ga. very proud as he and the San Francisco Giants swept the World Series in October of 2012.
Like most of the successful people I’ve listed below, Buster faced his share of obstacles before becoming a superstar in the “bigs”. Look at these familiar names:
Henry Ford – Went broke 5 times before founding Ford Motor Co.
Bill Gates – Dropped out of college and birthed a failed business before Microsoft.
Albert Einstein – Didn’t speak until age 4 or read until 7, and was expelled from school a few years later.
Thomas Edison – Teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and he made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb before succeeding.
Winston Churchill – Lost more elections than any other political figure in recent British history until becoming Prime Minister at age 62.
Oprah Winfrey – Endured an abusive childhood, then labeled “unfit for TV” before being fired.
Dick Cheney – Flunked out of Yale…twice.
Jerry Seinfeld – Booed off a comedy club stage after freezing before the crowd.
Charles Schultz – Author of Peanuts had every cartoon submission rejected by his school yearbook and then was refused a job with Walt Disney.
Elvis Presley – Fired after one performance and told to “go back to driving a truck.”
With those challenges in mind, I’d like to share a baseball-themed excerpt from my book, “Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word”, trusting it will resonate with every salesperson, sales manager, and business owner.
Failure isn’t the end of the world, but simply a temporary fact of life faced regularly by every salesperson. To explain, I’ll use the lifetime batting statistics of baseball greats Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, both Hall of Famer’s, to draw parallels to results salespeople can achieve from their activity.
Babe got a hit (closed a sale) 34% of the time (1 out of 3).
Of those hits, about 25% (1 out of 4) were huge sales (HR).
One out of every six times at bat (16%), he got a door slammed in his face (strikeout) without getting past hello.
He played in 2,503 games, meaning an average of 2.2 times per game he got somebody to answer the door but suffered rejection and didn’t get to first base.
Babe batted an average of 3.4 times per game but failed to reach base 2.2 times per game on average.
Hank got a hit (closed a sale) 30% of the time (< 1 out of 3).
Of those hits, about 20% (1 out of 5) were huge sales (HR).
One out of every nine times at bat (11%), he got a door slammed in his face (strikeout) without getting past hello.
He played in 3,298 games, meaning that an average of 2.6 times per game he got somebody to answer the door but got rejected and didn’t get to first base.
Hank batted an average of 3.7 times per game but failed to reach base 2.6 times per game on average.
On a purely mathematical basis, both men were batting failures, but are heroes in our memories and in Cooperstown. Both consistently went to the plate repeatedly for 20+ years, their efforts producing over 6,500 hits and almost 1,500 home runs!
Applying this to the world of sales, assume Hank Aaron’s numbers are your sales results, and remember he failed at the plate 70% of the time. You would achieve:
→ 3.7 serious sales conversations each workday (Hank’s average number of batting attempts per game)
→ 2.6 of those conversations would result in nothing sold (Hank’s average failures per game)
→ 1.1 times each day you would sell something (Hank’s average number of times on base per game)
→ $______ in sales, each day (insert your company’s average)
→ $______ 20 times the above number = your monthly sales (20 workdays/month)
→ $______ multiply x 12 to estimate annual projected sales
What would this level of failure do for your career?
©2013 Robinson Training Solutions, LLC