AABP Award 728x90

Take me out to the ballgame – or the sale


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Play ball! That’s the yell you hear from the umpire just after the national anthem and just before the first pitch. It’s baseball season!

It seems as if the Philadelphia Phillies just won the World Series, and now it’s time to start over. Another season means hopes for a pennant and dreams of a World Series trophy for your team.

Who is your favorite team? Ever ask yourself why you’re so loyal to them, even though they may not be winners? I wonder if your customers are as loyal to you as you are to your lousy team? I wonder if your customers are your fans? Just a thought.

Fans cheer and even sing for their favorite team.

So what does that have to do with your sales? PLENTY. If you study the game, the teams and the players of baseball, you’ll find incredible similarities to your sales and your career.

Here are the lessons in baseball you can apply to your sales game and your business game once you understand their importance and their impact:

• A baseball team is made up of individual players who know how to play together. Their individual skills contribute to the team’s success. They cannot win alone. The best team wins.

• All great ballplayers were once beginners. They started at a young age because they loved to play. They were encouraged by their parents and coaches.

• All pro ballplayers start in the minor leagues. In baseball, like sales, there are no shortcuts. One step at a time. Before they got to the minors, it’s probable they had already been playing some form of organized ball for 15 years.

• Ballplayers are coachable. Being coached and listening to coaches are key factors in their success.

• Ballplayers warm up and practice before every game. They get ready. Even if they’ve been playing for years, they practice before EVERY game.

• Ballplayers learn the fundamentals of the game until they’re automatic. Then they practice them every day. Fundamentals like: Keep your eye on the ball. Know the rules. Know the strategies. They understand that defense is just as important as offense.

• All ballplayers, even great ballplayers, get into slumps. Coaching, watching video and practice get them out of those slumps.

• All ballplayers make errors. Sometimes an error can cost you the game. Take errors seriously, NOT personally. Learn from them and don’t repeat them. The secret to error-free performance: more practice.

• Ballplayers love what they do, and they play to win.


• Very few players make it to the major leagues.

• Very few major league players can lead the league.

• Very few players can get a hit in the clutch.

• Small errors in judgment can cost you your career.

•All cheaters eventually will be caught.

• There is no prize and no champagne for second place.

• Fans have become disenchanted because players have less of a sense of loyalty to them. Sad. But there’s still a lesson: To get loyalty, you must GIVE loyalty.

There are the unspoken rules of the game – both in baseball and sales. You gotta believe in your team and teammates. You gotta believe your team will win. You gotta believe in your coach, your leader.

And as one of the songs from the Broadway musical “Damn Yankees” says, “You’ve gotta have heart.”

How much of your heart is in the game?

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com. © 2009 Jeffrey H. Gitomer

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