Why Hall of Fame Selling Starts with Singles
***GUEST AUTHOR TONY FALCHI***
Salespeople. Marketing Professionals. Account Representatives. Call us what you will, but it all comes down to one thing. We’re the ones who put customer and product together. Every industry has engineers, product developers, R&D specialists, and innovation departments. They’re all essential, but none are more important than the people who sell what a company makes.
A company can have the best products on the market, but nothing happens without the right salespeople. We’re the ones who generate the capital that makes everything else happen. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that “You’re just a salesperson.” We’re the driving force in every single industry.
I’ve been in sales my whole life, so I understand that salespeople are motivated by various emotions. Some are looking for recognition within their industry. Some are driven by their own competitive instinct. But let’s be honest. We’re all driven by money. We want to get the big sale and land the white whale.
Yet this is what can hurt our performance. Please don’t get me wrong. I love making money, too, but how we position ourselves to make sales is critical. I’ll use a baseball analogy to make my case.....
Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle are all in the Hall of Fame. They were great players and home run hitters. It’s the long ball – the home run – that generates excitement and brings the crowd to its feet. But long balls are few and far between. If you think about it, the majority of Hall of Famers had high batting averages and fielding averages. That’s why they’re in the Hall.
Building a base of small customers is like hitting singles in baseball. Eventually, it pays off. As your relationship with customers develops, many of those small sales will turn into home runs. I love hitting the proverbial long ball, too, but I learned a lesson long ago that gave me some perspective and served me well throughout my career.
TALE OF THE SALE:
I was selling advertising for a newspaper that was part of the Gannet chain. There was a special promotional contest. Approximately twenty salespeople were competing for a substantial bonus prize. The objective was to sell as much advertising space as we could for a new sports section that would run for 13 consecutive weeks.
My competitors wanted to bring in the largest advertisements. They thought that home runs led the way to the big win. But large advertisements only run once. Then you need to find another large ad to replace it. That’s possible, of course, but it’s also an uphill battle. While everyone else wanted to sell that big, full-page ad, I took a different approach.
I went to a small town nearby and created a cooperative ad campaign where everyone got to “look big but pay small.” I sold 12 inexpensive same-size ads with a commitment of 13 straight weeks. It was called Small Town Shopping. Every week, one of the advertisers would be featured in the center ad and surrounded by the others. It SOLD OUT! I sold 12 ads 13 times, which was 156 ads total.
LESSON LEARNED FROM THIS TALE OF THE SALE:
This approach fit customer budgets and still gave them a big presence on the newspaper’s back page for 13 straight weeks. I’m not Hall of Famer, but I saw the value of singles – and lots of them. By creating cooperative buying power for my clients, I was able to put customer and product together in an affordable way. While my competitors were swinging for the fences, I was getting on base.
This concept can be used creatively with any type of product. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. Create an opportunity for customers to buy the quantities that they need but connect it with other companies that have similar needs – and then bring them all in on the deal. In baseball, they call it small ball. In sales, we call it sales ingenuity. This might be a very old story but the thought of closing a deal still gets me going! Good luck and good selling. Remember: Nothing happens without you, the salesperson!
About Our Guest Author:
This tale of the sale comes from the career of an old, retired salesman from Utica, NY. Anthony Falchi is a retired businessman, business owner, and sales pro. Anthony used creative sales strategy by opening his prospect's eyes to new ideas not just in this tale of the sale but many times over a very successful career. His unique ability to think outside the box like a businessman vs. just a salesperson has never been more important than it is today. His title said sales but he was a creative businessman!