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Hans Hansson | July 24, 2007

For those of you that have read my articles over the years you have often read my comparisons between baseball and life. As we approach the half way mark of the 2007 baseball year it is clear that my San Francisco Giants are in a hole destined to end up in last place in their division unless a major turn around occurs in the second half. Early this year my little league team that I coached, entered an eight-game losing streak after a good start and no matter what moves I made we could not catch a break nor win a ball game.

If you are salesman for any length of time you have probably experienced being in a hole. You had a great year, things were looking up and suddenly a series of collapsed deals occur and you are being tested. What is happening? What am I doing wrong? Why can't I close a deal?

There are two directions you can take to get out of this hole. First, you can decide to change your ways. Break your habits and start fresh. Change the way you market yourself, change your cold calling techniques and revaluate your daily activities. The second approach is to not change at all. Keep doing what has made you successful in the past and realize that sales involve peaks and valleys in performance and you continue to do what you do.

In baseball you can find managers that will take one of these two directions all the time to get out of a slump. The Giants in a recent game tried a suicide squeeze play, which they had not done all year to try to score at least a run in one recent game. Other managers will keep sending the same lineup day in and day out knowing that over time good teams will break out of slumps eventually.

For either strategy to succeed you need one ingredient... patience. Slumps seem to take their own course. Having confidence in yourself regardless of whether you decide to shake things up or continue to do what has made you successful year in and year out is tied to patience. Patience removes anxiety and creates stability the necessary foundation for the success of any salesperson particularly one that has fallen into that hole.
Posted 12 years, 6 months ago on July 24, 2007
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