The Texas Rangers are about to go up against the teams that had the top four records in the AL last year. In quick succession, they’ll be facing the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Rangers team manager Ron Washington learned of the new game schedule this past Sunday. He stood up and responded, “Look at my knees. You see them shaking?”
His knees were perfectly still.
Ron Washington knows that being intimidated won’t do his team any good. It won’t do your sales team any good, either.
When salespeople feel threatened by the competition, they tend to concentrate on the competition’s strengths rather than on their own. As a result, they play up products and services that ultimately can’t compete with those of their competitors instead of playing up those things that set their offerings or company apart—or worse, promise things they can’t actually deliver.
In baseball, you can’t win if all you do is worry about the other team’s win/loss ratio. The same is true in sales. When you allow yourself to be intimidated by the numbers or past experiences, it’s easy to focus on getting players out rather than on actually crossing the plate and scoring runs for your team. Is keeping tabs on your competitors important? -Of course. But it’s more important to keep your eyes on the ball.
Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Washington!
Below are a few other quotes by veteran baseball managers that you might find useful in the face of competition.
“Some guys are admired for coming to play, as the saying goes. I prefer those who come to kill.”
- Leo Durocher, The Sporting News, February 1961
"Nobody likes to hear it, because it's dull, but the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same—pitching."
- Earl Weaver, Los Angeles Times, June 1978
"Slow thinkers are part of the game too. Some of these slow thinkers can hit a ball a long way."
- Alvin Dark, Baseball Digest, 1968
"I guess more players lick themselves than are ever licked by an opposing team. The first thing any man has to know is how to handle himself.”
- Connie Mack, Unknown Source
"It's no fun playing if you don't make somebody else unhappy. I do everything hard."
- Hank Bauer, New York Times, February 2007
"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed."
- Sparky Anderson, TV Guide, April 1982
When your eyes are on the ball, you try to get the most out of every resource available to you. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to set appointments, host effective sales events, qualify and score sales leads, market to the right audience, maintain effective sales processes, etc., and still find the time to close.
It’s safe to assume that one of the reasons Ron Washington stood firmly this past Sunday is because he knows he’s got a team that is up for any challenge. (The Rangers did have the fifth top record in the AL last year, after all.) Can you say the same thing about your sales team? If not, contact Vendere Partners today. We’ll help you hit your sales goals out of the park.