Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Ball Pit

Image: graur razvan ionut /
My two daughters love to go to places like McDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese because they have a play area just for young children.

I love to take them there because I can sit down for a minute and breathe and let them burn off some excess energy before having to deal with baths and bedtime.

You don't see this too much now, but years ago, places like that would have a giant "ball pit" where kids could "swim" around and dive under the balls and have fun.

For those of us in the business (especially those of us in sales), the world is like that ball pit.

Think about it...

Let's say that all the balls in the pit represent your potential customer base, but only the red balls are the ones who will buy from you. Unfortunately, all of the balls (the red ones included) are covered in mud so you really can't see what color it is.

So what you have to do is reach into the ball pit (access your prospect list), pull out a ball (call that prospect), clean it off (qualify the prospect) and determine what color it is (ask for the sale).

Anyone in any sort of sales or service industry knows that it's all about the numbers. If you talk to enough people, eventually you will find the right ones who want to do business with you. The problem as we all know is  nobody has a stamp on their forehead or a neon sign around their neck saying "pick me... pick me."

Some months you'll reach into the ball pit and immediately find the 4 or 8 or 12 red balls you need to reach your goals.

Other months you'll go through 30 or 40 wrong ones to find the right ones.

But lets say that the ball pit has 3000 balls, but only 10 of them are red, but if you find all 10 red balls you earn $100,000 bonus. Anything less than 10 and you don't earn anything. But you know that it is 100% guaranteed that there really are 10 red balls among the 3000 mud covered unidentifiable balls in the pit.

How hard would you work to find those 10 red ones? How long would you stay at it until you found them? What if the 10 red one were the last 10 balls you pulled out? Would you stay at it through the other 2990 or would you give up after five or six hundred because you didn't see the results you wanted to see?

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