Sales call lesson from the NFL

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Week 1 of the NFL is behind us … teams busily are preparing for Week 2. One point from the world of football that caught our eye came from George Wilson, team captain and strong safety for the Buffalo Bills. He shared, “People think we just throw the football around and play the game. They don’t get to see the student side of the game. The game is 90% mental and 10% physical.” This explains why Wilson is attached to his iPad.

With an iPad Wilson can immediately download footage from a game in less than an hour after it’s played – “replaying the game” to see what he did well, what plays were left out there on the field and what he can do better next time.

It strikes us that these same inquiries apply equally well to the world of sales. We all know successful selling isn’t just talking to a customer and closing a deal. As with football, there is a “student side” of the game.

Taking an after the fact look at the game applies to sales calls, too. After leaving a call, sales people focus on what needs to be done to advance the sale. This certainly is critical – yet too many sales reps stop here, neglecting to assess what went right and what didn’t during the sales call. What might they do differently if they could do the call all over again? Are there some next steps that need to be taken?

When debriefing a call too many sales reps focus just on a single “play” (like did they get the advance) rather than reviewing the sales call to determine whether or not there was a more effective way to play the game. In these situations, Wilson would say sales people are not being students of the game.

Of course there isn’t game tape of sales calls. Nonetheless, sales people should “replay sales calls” – to identify what they did well and what they might have done differently if given the opportunity to do the sales call again.

To increase proficiency and effectiveness requires repetition and study. Figuring out what’s being done right and where improvements can be made will lead to raising the game – whether in business or sports.

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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Janet Spirer
For more than 30 years Janet Spirer has worked with the Fortune 1000 to craft sales training programs that make a difference. Working with market leaders Janet has learned that today's great sales force significantly differs from yesterday. So, Sales Momentum offers firms effective sales training programs affordably priced. Janet is the co-author of Parlez-Vous Business, to help sales people have smart business conversations with customers and the Sales Training Connection.

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