Posted by Al Arco on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 04:15 PM
I head up the Dallas CrossCheck office and have been visiting our Petaluma headquarters for sales meetings this week. With all of the excitement over the Petaluma National All-Stars competing in the Little League World Series, we've gone off topic a couple of times to cheer on the home team. What a great thing for these kids and their families! It makes me think of my experience as a coach back in Texas. During the meeting, and in between high-fives, I discussed some of the similarities of running a sales team for a check services company and being the coach of a select baseball team in North Texas.
Whether I'm leading a team of check guarantee sales consultants or under 14 baseball players, I take my role as coach very seriously. I mentioned that both groups are highly talented. Both groups are made up of individuals with distinct personalities and goals. Both groups are fierce competitors and work hard to constantly be better at what they do. As their coach, it is my job to keep the teams organized, prepared and set to win. But the job is not always about helping them win, that would be easy. The job is also about teaching them how to overcome the losses and be better at what they do.
In baseball, a successful hitter gets a hit 3 out of 10 times. That means he "fails" 7 out of 10 attempts. In sales, lost deals occur more often than new clients are booked. I’m no psychologist and I didn’t stay in one of those hotels last night that makes you an overnight genius, but I have been around baseball and sales long enough to know that you cannot get too caught up in the highs or too upset by the lows. Baseball and sales require participants to be on point and in a positive state of mind each and every moment, even after that frustrating strikeout or missed sales opportunity.
One of my main jobs as a coach and manager is to remind my teams to keep their focus, concentrate on the future and not get distracted by the past. No excuses! Sales can and will be lost if you are still thinking about the last call that didn’t go your way. Balls will be missed if you're thinking about that how that sinker dropped. Imagine your goal, look forward, and you'll have a higher chance of success.
I make it a point to celebrate the “wins”, but I find managing the losses is much more my daily duty. I help my groups through that adversity to find an opportunity to improve…but also to “shake it off” and prepare for the next play/sales call. This is useful for any business that competes for customers - retail, auto dealers, even medical offices.
As both a sales executive for CrossCheck and a baseball coach, I strive to bring out the best in my teams, and that may mean helping my reps with their check guarantee sales or leading my players to a tournament win. I haven’t worn my spikes to the office or a tie to a game, but wherever I am, you can call me Coach Al. (Senior Vice President for CrossCheck and Head Baseball Coach 14u Texas Bombers Baseball Club.)
If you are a coach, a sales team leader, or both…what is working for you? Let us know in the comment box below.