You can find inspiration anywhere. Even in a book called, A Year of Playing Catch. Tom Schaff was nice enough to send me a copy of this book and there was the inspiration, right there on page 128. Why would someone from the world of sales care about a page out of a baseball book? I'll give you fourteen really good reasons. You see, the book is much less about baseball and much more about the following fourteen integral competencies of sales success:
- Goal setting, planning and execution
- Story Telling
- Listening and Asking Questions
- Being of Value
- Presentation Skills
- Controlling Emotions
- Messaging and Posturing
- Being Coachable
- Developing Supportive Beliefs
With that said, this is what author Ethan D. Bryan wrote on page 128 and I quote:
It is hard to admit that I am not good enough, that my sheer passion for the game doesn't translate to on-field ability and seven-figure success. That's the fear anyone faces when they try out for a team, when they take a test, when they apply for a job--that they will be judged and deemed not good enough. Life is filled with "not good enough" moments.
Seeking a promotion.
Implementing new diet and exercise routines.
"Baseball is life," Mary said. "Anything you learn from or about baseball can be applied to your daily life, to any relationship you have. When I observe ballplayers, those who succeed are the ones who absorb the lessons in front of them instead of getting angry. Anger prevents them from being successful. That's the difference. It's not about talent, really, but harnessing the energy and not allowing their emotions to master them. They know how to make their emotions work for them, so the result is what they want."
How are you supposed to reply to being told you're not good enough?
You don't throw hard enough to play varsity.
Your grades aren't good enough for the scholarship.
There are better applicants for the position.
Those moments I have sat with my not-good-enoughness are initially met with a melancholic disappointment. I console myself with the simple, honest truth: At least I tried. I held nothing back and gave it my best effort. I poured my heart into it and have no regrets. Those words, often accompanied by a Dr. Pepper and a donut, are usually sufficient encouragement to short-circuit my pity party and keep me dreaming.
How are you supposed to reply when you know you're good enough but life prevents you from getting a chance?
End quote. Pivoting back to Dave Kurlan now.
Ethan set out on a quest to play catch with someone different every day for a year. He wrote about every one of those 365 days in his blog here.
Each time a salesperson fails to schedule a meeting, reach the decision maker, uncover a compelling reason to buy, create urgency, qualify the opportunity and win the business, the reality is that in that moment, on that day, during that sales cycle, with that prospect, against their competition, for whatever reason, they were not good enough. Accepting not good enough is taking responsibility. Accepting not good enough means there is room for improvement. Accepting not good enough suggests there is an opportunity for growth. Accepting not good enough opens the door for coaching.
If Ethan could play a game of catch with somebody every single day of the year, can't you take the same amount of time to improve your sales, sales management or sales leadership skills every day of the year?