Things You Should Know

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It’s OK To Go Cold, But Keep Shooting

A basketball team consists of a variety of players where each player has a different role.

The point guard brings the ball up the court, and distributes the ball to the other players. 

The center and power forwards play inside mostly, and have a primary focus of getting rebounds and making shots that are close to the basket. 

The two guard and the small forward are often considered the best shooters from the outside.

And any player that is particularly known for their outside shot, is called a shooter.

Anyone who has ever played or watched basketball knows that it’s impossible for a shooter to be hot all the time – sometimes the ball has eyes on it, and other times all they can manage are bricks.

It’s the nature of athletics, and the nature of basketball specifically. 

The level of confidence that a player has in their shot definitely influences the likelihood that the ball will go in the hoop, the higher the confidence the higher the probability for making the shot.

All basketball coaches tell their top shooters who are cold to keep shooting, no matter what. 

This coaching logic helps keep the shooter’s confidence high (important), and eventually all good shooters become hot … sometimes it just takes one shot to go through the hoop to get a good shooter going again.

All players go through peaks and slumps, but anyone in the basketball world knows that shooters should always shoot the ball when they have a look at the basket, regardless of their hit rate at that particular time, because when they become hot the team is able to score points in bunches.

But it’s not always easy for shooters to maintain high confidence levels when going through dry spells.

They are human beings, and doubt can naturally creep in if they are not shooting well, and then they are less likely to shoot the ball when open.

Now, imagine a hypothetical example of a shooter in a game, being guarded and physically harassed by 5 different players from the opposing team, all at once … and each of them where physically holding, grabbing, and roughing the player up ….and no fouls were being called. 

In this illustration, it’s obvious that no shots for the shooter were going to make it in the hoop.  It was an impossible task as the deck was stacked too far against them.

The shooter is extremely cold in this example, and is naturally going to start losing confidence in their shot, simply because none of the shots are making it in the basket. 

This is something to guard against as a coach because confidence levels are of critical importance for a shooter’s likelihood in makings shots.

The illustration above referencing 5 players guarding and physically harassing the lone shooter is what it was like for sellers trying to sell during the month of March, 2020 when COVID-19 started wreaking havoc in the US.

Top sales people from all industries were ambushed.

Even the best of the best had problems conducting business, and making sales.  It was a rough patch, and a virtually impossible period to complete transactions.

The month of April, 2020 got better.  Instead of 5 people guarding one shooter, it dropped down to 3 defenders …. still very difficult. 

But the shooter was able to get some shots off, and even a few made it through the basket.

May, 2020 has improved a bit more.  Another defender has dropped off, and there are two defenders now, guarding the shooter.  The shooter is warming up a bit, and some more shots are making it through the hoop.

But it’s still 2 defenders on 1, not easy.

Sales managers in today’s business world, need to keep their seller’s confidence level high.

Salespeople need to keep shooting – making sales calls.  They should not give up, even though the market is still a challenge.

Sellers in this market often execute perfectly, and still fall short of making a sale.

It’s not easy.

And it can be deflating for salespeople, especially when they put extra effort into the sales process to make a sale.

But if you are a seller, and you are struggling to make a sale in this market, don’t lose hope.

It’s ok to have a dry spell.

But, it’s not ok for you to lose confidence.

And it’s not ok to stop trying.

Even though these times of challenge can create feelings of frustration and hopelessness, it’s more important than ever, to hang in there and to keep trying.

Now is the time to discover the internal fight that is necessary to make it out of a difficult situation.

Take pride in the good work you do, and in the relationships you built with your clients during the process, even if the sale falls through.

Handle each setback with grace and poise, and your buyer’s will remember you.

When the market is more favorable, you will have a great chance for rapid success.

Keep looking for opportunities today to make sales, if you keep searching you will find them.

Sales managers and sellers, stay strong, better days are ahead.

In the meantime, keep your head up.

Keep shooting.

Jim Guerrera

Author Info

Jim Guerrera

Jim Guerrera, Managing Director, founded SCN in 2000. Jim is primarily responsible for the development of the leaders at SCN, strategic planning, the hiring and development of company associates, culture leadership, core value leadership, sales le...

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