“Never let a bat go to waste.” Working your percentages even when it seems of no use.


Eleven-time Golden Glove winner, first baseman Keith Hernandez was taking batting practice early in his career with the legendary Pete Rose looking on. Rose yelled out, “Wow, Keith, you’re 300 hitter!” Rose went on to say, “You know players really make it harder than it is, Keith. Baseball is every day for six months. To keep it simple, I chunk it down to every 100 at bats. 30 hits for every 100 at bats is .300.”

“The difference, between a 250 and a 300 hitter is only 30 hits-that’s less than 1 hit every 5 at bats.”

“Keith, think about all of the bats that you gave away because it was a blowout and seemed like, it didn’t matter.”

“But that one extra at bat could mean the difference between you being average or one of the greatest ever.”

Never let a bat go to waste.

Rose went on, “Sometimes you’re going to get on a hot streak and you’re batting 320, your first hundred at bats. That means for the second round of 100, at bats, you only need to hit 28, but this is where most players go wrong. They let up. On your second round, where you only need to get 28, is where you don’t settle & you start building your chips, so that by the fourth round, you’re playing with house money.”

In your sales career, think about how many at bats- how many customers and opportunities you let go to waste?

The week’s been terrible. So what’s the use?

It’s Friday, I’ll hit it hard on Monday. 

The month’s almost over, so I’ll just start fresh for next month.

The little slights don’t seem like much because you’re only looking at them in singulars, but see if you compound those slights over six months; over a year; over a career, the difference between average great is in the slights. 

It’s about the same effort, but a different focus. When you train yourself to look at it differently, you don’t play to the expected result, instead you’re playing the percentages- the at bat and you never let the opportunity go to waste.

And when you get on a roll, roll harder. 

Most salespeople get on a roll and ease up, but because you’re playing the percentages and refuse to waste an at bat, instead of saying, “I’m good,” you say, “Oh my god, great is just ahead!”

You’re stacking your chips and leveraging your momentum to go even harder.

Customers feel your confidence oozing out of your pores. You keep stacking the good fortune so that when your 3/4 of the month in, you’re playing with house money- selling from a relaxed state of mind. While the average salespeople are struggling to pull out a month, you’re pulling your career head.

When you’re playing to the percentages, it takes the sting out of the immediacy of the moment. If a customer buys elsewhere, backs out, or can’t get a customer done, you’re playing the at bats and looking for the next opportunity.

Now you’re playing for greatness.

It’s 30 hits out of every 100. Greatness is not in the +1’s and +2’s, it’s in the decimals. The .001’s, where it seems like it doesn’t carry much meaning, but when you add it all up, those fractions turn into whole results. 

The smalls make the bigs.

Remember the greatest sale that you’ll ever make, is to sell you on you because you’re more than enough.

Stay amazing. Stay in The Sales Life.

Subscribe to The Sales Life Podcast on iTunes and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook @marshbuice.

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