Blackjack is one of the few casino games where you have an almost even chance of leaving the table a winner by following three principles. (Wouldn't you like to have an almost even chance of closing every sales presentation?) Sales trainer Mitch Schaefer presents an intriguing gambling - sales analogy he has adapted from the Sandler School.
What are the three principles of the Game? 1. Understand the rules of the game. Blackjack has rules that dictate how and when the cards are dealt, which combinations of cards constitute a winning hand, and how the dealer must play his hand. Additionally, mathematical probabilities establish a set of "rules" you must follow to maximize your chances of winning. By sticking to the rules, you reduce the house advantage to only a few percent.
Here are the key factors: in order to follow the rules, you must be emotionally detached from the process. And, you must follow the rules consistently. If the rules specify that you always split aces and eights, then you must always split aces and eights. If the probabilities specify that you should hold on 14 when the dealer's up card is six or less, that's what you must do. You can't play hunches. You can't second guess the probabilities.
2. Never risk more than you can afford to lose. The wisdom of this rule should be obvious. If it's unwise, as the adage suggests, to "put all your eggs in one basket," it's just as foolish to bet all your money (especially if it's your last dollar) on one hand.
3. Know when to walk away. If you play the game long enough, you'll likely notice a sine-wave-like pattern to your winnings. Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're even, and sometimes you're down. Unfortunately, the pattern isn't a perfect sine wave with a fixed and predictable frequency and amplitude. So, you must set a goal in advance to walk away when you're either up or down by a specific amount. In either case, you walk away a winner -- measured by your actual winnings or simply the fact that you survived to play another day (or perhaps at another table).
Let's see how the principles for winning at Blackjack apply to the game of sales:
1. Understand the rules of the game. A cardinal rule of the sales game stipulates that you don't invest your time pursuing low-probability opportunities, regardless of how much you want or need a sale. As in blackjack, you must remain emotionally detached from the process. If the opportunity doesn't measure up... well then, it doesn't measure up, and it's time to move on and find one that does.
Low-probability opportunities exist when: - There isn't a compelling reason for the prospect to buy your product or service--and to buy it from YOU. - The prospect isn't willing or able to make the required investment to obtain your product or service. - You can't meet all of the prospect's criteria for buying your product or service (or buying it from you rather than a competitor).
2. Never risk more than you can afford to lose. "Bet" your time wisely. Don't invest all your time pursuing one opportunity. That's not a winning strategy. Try to create more than one active opportunity in your pipeline.
3. Know when to walk away. Sometimes, "it's not in the cards." Some sales opportunities will progress predictably and perhaps quickly, and you'll add a new name to your client list. Other opportunities will drag on. Some prospects won't make commitments, or, they won't keep them. In those instances, you need to cut your losses (of time and energy). Close the file, walk away, and invest your time identifying other potentially more viable opportunities.
When you play by the rules, you can bet on the outcome--more closed sales, more often. You’re bettering the odds. Biz4
Mitch Schaefer has a knack for greeting Fortune 100 executives and small retail shop owners with the same convivial, effective manner. Much of this comes from his 25 years spent with American Express Company in various sales, marketing, and operations capacities. When he finally left in 2007, Schaefer was American Express’ vice president in charge of client management, responsible for $300 million in annual sales, with the aid of his account manager team. Then in 2007, Schaefer became interested by the Sandler Sales System. Using many of their techniques, and many more brought from his own experience, he launched the Schaefer Training and Development Group in Hackensack. His clients range from the Fortune 500 firms to small entrepreneurs. Schaefer grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he first gleaned his instructive skills from his mother, a teacher of 40 years. He attended the University of Maryland, graduating with a Bachelor’s in business and marketing in 1980. The above article is one Schaefer modified from a Sandler Systems training text.