Hitting 3 out of 10

In baseball a hitters average matters a lot. If you are hitting 100, it means that you score a run 1 out of 10 times you step up to the plate. If you are hitting 300, it means you are getting 3 runs per 10 steps up to the plate. In modern times, a season batting average higher than 300 means two things. The first is that you will be in high demand in major league baseball. The second is that you will be earning millions of dollars for that skill. Anything higher than .400 is regarded as an almost unachievable goal. The last player to do so, with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting championship, was Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox, who hit .406 in 1941, though the best modern players either threaten to or actually do achieve it occasionally, if only for brief periods of time.

It turns out that sales and baseball are very similar.

An average person will probably close a deal 1 out of 10 times. Someone who can get the job done 2 our of 10 times will make a very good living as a sales professional and earn an income well above the norm. If however, a person can get over 300 in selling, then they too will end up earning millions of dollars – just like the guys in the major leagues. All they need to do is find an industry that understands and appreciates the value of people who sell their wares. A big clue here is that it wont be a product that sells from a shelf. Another clue is that sales can be learned, it’s invariably a human skill that we all have, but very few people actually embrace their potential to do it.

When it comes to startups, we’ve all got to sell. We’ve got to sell our ideas, our passion, our product and our vision. We’ll even need to sell to our supply chain before we even get a chance to sell to customers. Success and selling are inextricably linked. No matter how advanced technology becomes someone has to sell it at some point, or revenue wont happen.

The thing to to remember though, is that we really only need a hit rate of 2 out of 10 to beat Joe Normal. Doing any better than that and we are on our way to stardom.


7 thoughts on “Hitting 3 out of 10

  1. Interesting post Steve.

    Do you have any advice for a wage slave/uni student on how to get sales experience?


  2. Yep – Get a job in sales! Seriously… Sales people are the most in demand especially at an entry level. it would be great to get a job selling on weekends… but make sure it is a sales role where there are no shelves…. One where you need to go visit potential customers and do cold and warm calling.

    Seek.com would have a zillion sales roles… The only requirement is the ability to remain enthusiastic when 7/10 people reject you. If you can manage that you will become wealthy.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. A lot of people are so afraid of failure they never even step up to bat. Where as someone like Babe Ruth not only held the record for most home runs but most strikeouts as well. You just got to swing. Good stuff.

    The batting average in baseball is derived from the number of hits by the number of at bats. I believe you have explained the batting average for Cricket. Small details but thought you should know.

  4. Steve! Good analogy. But how to become a good sales? – Its all about practice! So sometimes it is better to have some 2nd-Tier customers first…

  5. Totally Ulrich. It is good idea to build up in sales. In fact, in most companies it is no mistake that you start at street level calling on small proprietors, before you enter the land of big accounts and large deal making…


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