There was a book a few years ago called Blue Ocean Strategy. The concept was that a blue ocean means that the water is deep, has a lot of fish, and has fewer people fishing. Thanks to COVID-19, however, businesses are suddenly finding themselves in a red ocean; shallow water, fewer fish, more competitive fishing, bloody with competition.
Have you ever thought about the potential of a $5 bar of iron? If you’ve never seen one, there’s not much to it. Just a simple rectangle, like a bar of gold bullion, though a heck of a lot less expensive. But just because it’s a $5 bar of iron doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. There are actually lots of things you can do to increase its value.
Here’s a quick story that highlights the difference between a high performance sales team and one that needs your constant supervision.
One warm summer day a few years back, I was driving along the interstate heading up to Cleveland. It was one of those days where everyone was at an optimal cruising speed that was about 10 MPH above the posted speed limit.
In the original version of the Magnificent Seven, Yul Brenner and Steve McQeen spend the opening scenes recruiting men to, “shoo some flies away from a little village.” In one scene, they come across Robert Vaughn who is on the run and now looking for work. When Vaughn agrees to join the team, Brenner holds up seven fingers indicating that they now have seven men on the team. McQueen, however, waves his hand as if to say, “hold on.” He has reservations about Vaughn. That’s when Brenner says, “No. No. He’s a good gun. And where we’re going is no church social.”
One of the things that I talk to sales leaders about is the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. A thermostat can set the temperature and manipulate the climate to get to the desired temperature. A thermometer can only take the temperature. With the business uncertainty in today’s climate, we can only take the temperature and react minute-by-minute to this uncertainty.
I think we can all agree that being a topflight sales rep or account manager doesn’t automatically make you a candidate for sales management. I’ve seen plenty of cases where the people leading an organization took their top sales rep out of the field, where he or she was flourishing, and put them in a sales leadership role where they couldn’t use their favored skills.
A question I often get in my consultation sessions is, “Bob’s not motivated. What’s the best way to motivate Bob to get out there and sell more?”
Well, I don’t know if there’s a best way to motivate sales people because I actually don’t believe motivation is an outward force. It’s not something you do to someone. Motivation comes from within the individual.
“People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that.” -Peter Brand, Moneyball
The premise of Moneyball, both the book and the film, was that the method of recruiting baseball talent was stuck in the past. The process used outdated methods and antiquated statistics. Recruiters were using the same methods tied to the same statistics dating back to the early days of baseball. Because the Oakland A’s had a smaller budget for salaries, they were forced to look for players undervalued by the market. When the general manager teamed up with a statistician, they found that certain, previously ignored stats were better indicators of a player’s performance today than the traditional stats used by the bulk of the sports executives and talent scouts.
What does it take to succeed in today’s complex sales environment? What do you need to break into the top 10% or even 20% when selling premium suites for national sports franchises, or big-ticket luxury items, or top end experiences and events?
In this episode, Fred Diamond, host of the Sales Game Changers podcast, runs through a variety of questions like these with Lance Tyson, CEO of Tyson Group, and author of Selling is an Away Game. If you want tips that will put you on the field of play and supercharge your sales game, then put in your earbuds, buckle up your seat belt, and get ready for a rapid-fire one-on-one that will change how you approach developing your sales team as well as your career.
In a previous post, we talked about the cushion. It’s one of the communication tools you must develop if you want to dominate resolving objections. Another communication tool you’ll need to develop are your listening skills.
Lance Tyson is an industry leader in sales training, development, and management. Selling is an Away Game is a must read for any sales professional, sales leader, or aspiring candidate in the industry.
Chief Revenue Officer, Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment