Batter Up! How to Increase your Closing Rate

Do you know your batting average– your closing rate?  Do you think it matters?  You should.  Ted Williams once commented that those that fail “only seven times out of ten attempts will be the greatest in the game.” Baseball players know that their average closing rate greatly affects their paycheck, and so does yours.
Everything I learned about sales, I learned from my father.  As a little girl he took me and my three brothers to Dodger games– which I admit was more about hot dogs and peanuts than baseball.  He taught us that, “if you win one more than you lose, you win.”Most importantly, he said, it’s the ability of the coach to select and build the team, to develop a competitive strategy, to use each player to best advantage, and to minimize players’ weaknesses. Who is your power clean-up hitter, the player who can drive in the most runs?  Is she selling the high value accounts? The American League instituted the designated hitter rule for just that reason-to substitute a hitting specialist for their weakest hitter, the pitcher. The same rule applies in media sales: do you have the right players in the right positions playing their best game

There are lots of ways to win a game.  My tax attorney brother says he hits singles because he has more than 1000 clients, and each tax return he prepares has an average dollar rate.  He keeps track of the number of appointments, because he knows that number translates into number of dollars.  He tells me that I, on the other hand, am a home run hitter-I have fewer clients, but each client yields a significant percentage to the bottom line. We both know that to reach our financial goals, we have to establish clear objectives, tie them to measurable actions, and track return on objectives (ROO) to reach our bottom line and return on investment (ROI).

In baseball we calculate batter’s actions, such as balls, strikes, swings and misses, foul balls, runs batted-in, and earned run; we must also calculate the equivalent actions in sales.  Scoring in real time allows us to make in-play strategic and tactical adjustments. We now have excellent account management systems to keep us focused on return on objectives such as number of calls (times at bat), identification of suspects (reaching first base), qualifying and engaging prospects (reaching second base),  creating selling opportunities and making powerful presentations, (reaching third base) closing the business (reaching home base), and closing ratios ( batting average). Yea to the player who steals bases! And, how good are you with handling objections (curve balls) or 24 hours turnaround RFPs (fast balls)?

We all want to be winners because, as Babe Ruth said, “I’ve never heard a crowd boo a homer, but I’ve heard plenty of boos after a strike-out.”  For me, Tom Hanks gave the best advice in the movie A League of Their Own,” when he yelled, “There’s no crying in baseball!.”

How do you score return on objectives? How does that relate to your motivation and the bottom line? Drop us a line TODAY at and receive a FREE Berman on-demand webinar of your choice.


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