If you’re an NFL fan, last night was the pinnacle of your season as the Chiefs came from behind to beat the 49’ers in Super Bowl LIV in Miami. This annual finale to the NFL season dates back to January 1967, six months prior to my graduation from high school. That first contest was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, established to determine which of the two football leagues in existence at that time had the best team. In case you care the Packers beat the Chiefs in that initial event. This annual competition was not officially called the Super Bowl until the fourth year it was played. That’s when the Roman numerals were also added to the name.
A basic component of pro football games are headsets that coaches constantly wear. The idea of a coach and player communicating with technology dates back to 1956, when a pair of Ohio inventors developed a radio receiver that the Cleveland Browns secretly placed inside their quarterback’s helmet. The NFL quickly banned the technology as soon as they discovered it, and it wasn’t until 1994 that the league approved an official communication system of headsets now used by every team.
Coaches can talk to the quarterback on offense, and to one designated player on defense. The authorized players are identified by a green sticker on the back of their helmet (see photo above). It’s a one-way channel for communicating, as helmets have no microphones to respond back to coaches. Conversation is limited by the remaining time on the play clock. When it reaches 15 seconds, communication is cut off until the play is over and then starts between plays again over and over throughout the game.
Sales training/coaching works the same way. A guy like me can be “in your ear” providing advice and strategies on a regular basis, but can’t conduct the sales call for you in the field. Like my daddy used to tell me, “you’ve got to pull your own little red wagon.” I smile thinking about that, as I have an old black and white photo from the 1950’s of me pulling my wagon around as if I knew what I was doing and where I was going.
That’s why one of my favorite slogans is, “inch by inch it’s a cinch, but yard by yard it’s hard.”
Recently I interviewed a sales guy who qualified for his first corporate incentive trip after six years in sales at his company. He was the first seller to accomplish this feat from his location. He said he used to think it was just impossible, although he always made a decent living. But he just kept paying attention to the coaching he received and applying the fundamentals that were being
conveyed to him. He inched his way along, and logged the following annual sales increases that put him over the top, accomplished during the four years of the Great Recession. If you were selling then you remember that most salespeople were whining and sucking their collective thumbs because the economy was “so bad. He rocked it with annual sales increases of +11%, +17%, +6%, +14%. He finally accomplished “the impossible” and qualified for the annual incentive trip with his wife at an exclusive Canadian resort.
That’s why it’s crucial to master fundamentals that will lead you to your personal championship. You can’t just read about them and then go on to something else. It’s crucial to pay attention and absorb everything your coach is saying in your ear, and then apply them to your business life and think about them every day.
Sometimes you will be like a juggler with too many balls in the air. When that happens you may drop one of your fundamental “balls.” The answer is to simply reach down, pick it up, and include it one more time. When you do eventually YOUR objectives will be accomplished.
————Mike Appreciates Coaching————
I would like to take a moment to tell you thanks for having these online classes with us. I’ve learned a lot in my short time and look forward to the future lessons. Mike Hawn-Barineau HVAC
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