Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

You may think that because Steve Young was a Super Bowl wining quarterback, Hall of Fame inductee, attorney, & successful sports analyst that he just had the “it” factor- like everything he touched turned to gold but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He went to BYU as a quarterback and realized quickly that he wasn’t going to be a starter anytime soon…if ever. The starting QB Jim McMahon (Future Super Bowl winner) had the lead position locked in- not only was Young behind McMahon, but he was behind 6 others vying for the coveted QB position. In other words, 7 others players would have to go down before Young would ever get his shot. Steve began to have second thoughts- he wished he would’ve gone to a different college so he called his dad (nicknamed Grit) telling him that he wanted to quit. Grit told his son that he could certainly quit, but he couldn’t come home, saying, “I don’t live with quitters.”

Steve stuck it out…

To make matters worse, Steve’s coach walks up to him one day informing him that Steve was no longer a QB, he’d been demoted to defense. “I don’t coach lefties,” his coach walked off saying. Sure enough, Steve found out that every BYU Hall of Fame QB had been right handed- Steve Young was a leftie.

Given Young’s already brittle state of mind, that statement alone could’ve broken him…instead it motivated him. Although his position was now on defense, Young was determined to play quarterback. He set out on his own by working on his footwork, technique, & threw over 10,000 spirals in 2 months time. His arm hurt- he was putting in extra work for a position he didn’t even play…

But he kept at it…

A new coach meandering across the field saw the accuracy of Young’s throws & began lobbying to get him switched over to offense. Steve’s hard worked paid off…sort of…although he was back to the 8th QB, at least he was back on offense. With new hope, he began outworking others and moved through the ranks to the #2 spot. As “luck” would have it, the starter went down, and Young went in.

Now I’d like to tell you the rest was history and it was all cupcakes and rainbows from there but it wasn’t. Steve played awful- in one half alone he threw 5 interceptions… in a short amount of time, Young had racked up more losses than McMahon had amassed in 2 years.

But he kept at it…

Drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs, he played poorly for 2 seasons, but once again someone saw a diamond playing in the rough. Bill Walsh, Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers, brought Steve Young on board to back up legendary quarterback Joe Montana.

Back on the bench again, the role and mission were all too familiar and Young used his secondary role to study & learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Montana & Young competed and jostled for the starting role-at one point, Young was relegated to a backup position when he was told he would be a starter.

But he kept at it…

Young got his shot, secured the starting position and went on to become Super Bowl MVP, Hall of Famer, attorney, & sports analyst for ESPN.

Nothing for Young came easy- even when he earned it, he found himself always having to prove himself…not so much to others, but to himself.

Steve Young kept at it…

…and so should you…..

Anything worth having will be hard. At times it’ll be thankless & humiliating… but it’ll all be worth it…some how, some way. While you may be deep on the depth chart in life-just because you’re not in the lead position…just because you’re not a starter doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think, study, & play like one. Don’t play up to the position you find yourself in today, play to your potential. Do the offline work- work that is meaningless to everyone but you…learn from those you back up-good or bad, don’t stand around hoping they fall, help them rise & in return you will too. Put in the work not knowing when “the day” will arrive- when is not your concern…what you do between now and when is. You put in the effort & the universe will supply the events and people to ensure it “just so” happens. And often it happens beyond your wildest imagination.

But first you’ve got to play to your potential, not your current position.

I’ll see you on the Blacktop.

 Have you ever noticed that all head football coaches seem to say the same thing at a press conference? When boiled down, they invariably say something like “They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; we’ll be ready to play.”  That’s it! It makes you wonder why there are press conferences anyway-they give no insight into the challenges, weaknesses, fears, injuries, nor conflicts they may be internally facing. The only sound bite we get is ”They’re a good team; we have our work cutout for us; and we’ll be ready to play.” They do this simply because they don’t want to reveal any distinct area that could give their opponent the advantage to win. 

As a sales professional, you need to hold your own press conference every morning. You are the head coach, captain, and member of a team of 1. When you hit the ground this morning,  give yourself a sound bite that there will be opportunities mixed with challenges; effort in the face of complacency; and execution due to preparation. Stop holding press conferences for yourself and others- offering insights of your frustrations, insecurities, aggravations, and injustices-for one: your audience (i.e. other salespeople) are glad it’s you and not them and two: negative speech = negative action = negative results. Stop griping and start grinding. 
  • “They’re a good team.” Respect the fact that there will be opportunities today that will be laced with rejection, negativity, defeats, and setbacks. Don’t avoid making a mistake today-you can’t win a game in a clean uniform, instead go out there and get dirty by failing early and often-that’s where the greatest growth and opportunities are found. Ironically, at the first stain of rejection, most of your fellow salespeople will turn back and sit on the bench of mediocrity. Opportunities are only revealed to those who are willing to keep showing up. 
  • “We have our work cutout for us today.” Your opponent isn’t your customer-it’s you. It’s who you were yesterday; your choices; what you allow; what you did and didn’t do-you took a 2 hour lunch, hid in a van and watched movies, and hung out in service all day when you could’ve caught up on product knowledge, perfected your walk-arounds, and followed up with sold and unsold customers. Say to yourself, “I have met the enemy and the enemy is me-the me who says it’s good enough, maybe tomorrow, I’m going to.” 
  • “We’ll be ready to play.” Stay ready-don’t get ready. Stop reacting to your day, be your own “whether” man. Most salespeople react to the traffic (or lack thereof), weather, or the attitudes of others. Find an alternative route to your day-while they’re standing around waiting for something to happen, you go out there and make it happen. Talk to service customers who are waiting to get their oil changed; introduce yourself to the guy standing in line at the gas station, call EVERY-nice, rude, or indifferent customer you’ve worked with recently. Just like you used to throw the football up in the air and catch it in mid-stride, hurl common objections at yourself and practice smoothly overcoming them. Learn the art of persistence-most salespeople stop at the customer’s first No-practice finesse by pulling the layers of No’s back hearing the intent behind their objection so that you can offer other, more suitable alternatives. 
Sound bites are for others-insight is for you. Huddle up.

We’ll this is it, the time has finally arrived- no more Sundays of having to watch downhill skiing, slow pitch softball, or gymnastics (Admit it!). Football is finally back, but just before kickoff, the ultimate horror occurs- your wife drags you off to the store. You did your best to barter, beg, and plead, but there was no getting out of it. So there you are, big lipping it (pouting) on aisle 9 with only 30 more aisles to wondrously walk down. Not wanting to miss any of the game’s action, you do the next best thing and whip out your smartphone to check your Twitter feed. As the game’s highlight feeds roll in, you mentally connect the dots of action. but it’s just not the same. Even though you’re not technically not missing out on what’s going on with the game, the feed of the action is not the same as the feeling of actually watching it unfold. 

The feeling of watching a game live explains why you’re willing to pay 5x a ticket’s face value only to be crammed into a stadium with thousands of others and feast on overpriced beer and hotdogs. You also love the feeling of sitting at home watching the game on your 60” HD flat screen TV with the surround sound cranked so high that it rattles the pictures on your wall. 
Feelings always trump the feed.
Customers show up on your lot for a feeling. Sure they feed on the research, safety and reliability ratings, and best buying practices, but they show up because they want to feel the emotions of a new vehicle. Customers may not like the process of buying a vehicle, but they sure love the feeling of owning a new one. 
When a customer shows up to look a vehicle how do you make them feel?  Ordinary salespeople sell (or not) based on how they currently feel whereas sales professionals-regardless of how they’re feeling, depend on daily disciplines needed to bring about consistent results. 
As a sales professional, one of the disciplines required for consistent success is the ability to break everything a customer has been feeding on (I.e. research, gossip, & assumptions) and transform it into positive feelings. As a professional, you must positively connect to your customers by gaining a better understanding as to why they’re in the market, how they will be using their next vehicle, and then selectively present your vehicle based on their answers. Your primary focus is to prime your customer’s decision pump with positive feelings. 
Look, you have no control over what your customer ultimately decides, but you do have control over how you make them feel. If they feel good about you, the dealership, and the vehicle that you’ve helped them select, then they will feel good about the decision to stop shopping and buy from you. 
Make sure the feelings you manifest are bigger than the feed they originally walked in with. 
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop!

Ain’t got know time…

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” We make excuses why we can’t squeeze another task into a day, especially when it comes to learning. We treat learning like we do exercising; we’ll get to it when we can. Eventually, a lack of learning, like exercising, will lead to the terminal illness of your career. It’s more effective to work out for 20 minutes, 5 days per week than it is to work out once for 9 hours straight. Sadly, when it comes to learning, we think we have to lock ourselves up in a room and cram for 9 hours straight instead of chunking it into small 20 minute daily sessions. There’s a difference in having no time versus know time. Knowing when and how to spend it will bring you more consistent results. Is it possible to have your cake and eat it too? Absolutely! It is possible to watch your favorite football game and squeeze in a few minutes of training-after all an average NFL football game is played in just 11 minutes!

Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article breaking down an entire NFL broadcast game. Here are the results:

o   11 minutes of actual playing time

o   17 minutes of instant replays

o   67 minutes of players standing around

o      3 seconds of cheerleaders

o   60 minutes of commercials

Never fear, you won’t miss a single down, replay, booth review, nor sideline shot. Instead of sitting on the couch, like every other salesperson, being pitched by an hour’s worth of commercials, grab your smart phone, ipod, or journal and invest 1200 seconds into getting ahead in your career. Do what others won’t, so you can become what they’ll never be. By the way, your pizza is ready.