|August 31, 2020
When I was a kid growing up California, the Oakland A’s were ‘my’ baseball team and Reggie Jackson was my favourite player.
Reggie’s nickname was ‘Mr October’ – for his postseason clutch hitting. During his career he hit 563 home runs, placing him 13th on the all-time list. He also has the dubious distinction of being the all-time leader in strikeouts with 2,597 (he actually finished with 13 more career strikeouts than hits) and a .262 batting average. This meant that Reggie got a hit just 26% of the time he faced a pitcher.
A fundamental aspect of baseball is that it is a low percentage and high payoff game. For Reggie to hit 563 home runs and help his teams win five World Series he had to face a lot of rejections – 2,597 strikeouts to be exact.
Similarly, a fundamental aspect of selling is that it is a low percentage and high payoff business. A high number of rejections (low percentage) is required to reach the reward (high payoff). The payoff is high because the number of rejections is high; the two go hand in hand.
It takes time to build a great clientele. You will have an existing relationship with your high priority prospective clients, and it will require careful nurturing over time if you are to convert them into key clients.
This means you must market efficiently and consistently in order to succeed.
The most efficient marketing technique I know of is to get in touch with all of your business and personal contacts; this can generate an appointment to call ratio of 1:2 (50% success).
By comparison, cold calling generates a very low success rate – of only about 5%.
Carrying out these tasks every day requires a high level of motivation. The payoff, however, is high.
For example, top producers generate 80% of their revenue from just 20% of their client relationships. Although it’s difficult to acquire a large key account (low percentage) you only need to win a number of smaller accounts per year to become a successful producer (high payoff).
Once you understand this dynamic it’s easier to accept rejection. You will realise that just a few successes will have a significant impact on the growth of your business and that in order to have those successes you will inevitably go through a lot of rejection.
It’s easier to be rejected than to fail. That’s because rejection is only temporary. Failure, on the other hand, means that you have probably given up or quit altogether.
Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole!
Becoming a top professional requires only a .300 batting average – a 30% success rate (high payoff). In order to get there, you’ll need to face rejection 70% of the time (low percentage). The payoff, though, is definitely worth it.