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400 Sales Reps, 1 Quarterback

Vantage Super Saturday - Crowd 2

Last month I was invited to speak to a group of 400 anxious door-to-door sales reps (pictured above). An entire theater was packed mostly in anticipation to hear from the keynote speaker, Taysom Hill, the starting quarterback at BYU. Knowing that Taysom would be there and the Super Bowl was only a week away, I prepared a message that compared momentum swings of the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to the daily momentum swings that effect sales reps.

Specifically I identified 3 aspects of sales that can create positive or negative momentum:

  1. In sales, every day is a new season. Oftentimes you will hear football coaches and players refer to the playoffs as a ‘new season.’ Meaning, if a team makes the playoffs, its regular season record becomes irrelevant. Last year, the Baltimore Ravens lost 4 of its last 5 regular season games which virtually gave them no momentum going into the playoffs. However, the team and coaches reminded themselves that the playoffs started a new season. Similarly, when a sales rep wakes up every morning he/she starts a new season and has 0 sales. The great sales reps go out each day to prove themselves despite any setbacks or successes of previous days. The day before my best selling day I sold 1 account which was far below my daily average of 7. However, I woke up the next morning and started the day with a fresh sense of optimism…it was a new season and my lack of production the day before didn’t matter.
  2. Distractions can be momentum killers. In the 2013 Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens had a 15 point lead and were receiving the ball to start the third quarter. Although halftime can oftentimes thwart momentum, the Ravens returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, increasing its lead to 22 points. It appeared the San Francisco 49’ers were finished, however, early in the third quarter the power went out in the Superdome which delayed the game for 34 minutes. Once the game resumed, the 49’ers scored 17 unanswered points and only trailed the Ravens by 5 points. The power outage killed the Ravens momentum. In sales it’s easy to get sidetracked by distractions. Phone calls, text messages, or other plans can derail positive momentum. I sold 23 accounts on my best selling day and on 2 occasions during that day I could have chosen to stop my positive momentum. The first door I knocked on I woke up a lady who wasn’t pleased with me being on her doorstep. It would have been easy for me to wait for another hour or so before continuing to knock on the doors of her neighbors, but I proceeded despite the setback. Then, towards the end of the day I called my wife to reschedule our evening plans knowing that if I stopped knocking I would start the next day with 0 sales and no momentum. Make the choice to eliminate the distractions you have control over while you are selling.
  3. Don’t stop positive momentum. In sales, it’s foolish to think you can stop positive momentum during one day and then pick up where you left off the next day. There is no question that the most difficult sale to make each day is the first sale. The second sale is easier to make than was the first sale, the third sale is easier to make than was the second sale, etc. Therefore, when you are making sales and there’s still daylight, don’t stop selling! It would make far more sense to stop selling during those days where sales aren’t being made, versus the days when you are in the zone. Could you imagine if a professional basketball player who was in the zone (making about every shot he takes) decided not to play in the 4th quarter? The same is to be said for sales reps that are having great days and then quit before the day is over. Think back to last year’s Super Bowl, had the power not went out, it’s likely the Baltimore Ravens would have continued to add to their lead and the final score may have looked more like the score of this year’s Super Bowl. When momentum is on your side, don’t stop!

Momentum will be a vital component to your success or lack thereof. Maximize the days when sales seem to come without much effort because these types of days may be few and far between. Make sure to make momentum work in your favor.