Lessons from Moneyball: Are You Waiting for the Grand Slam
The book and movie, Moneyball lays out a blueprint developed by Oakland Athletics’ General Manager Billy Beane on how to win baseball games. He theorized that the major
factor in winning games wasn’t great pitching and the 3-run home run as former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver espoused. Rather, it was runs scored. He argues that teams that did a better job of scoring runs, won more games. Sounds simple enough, but at the time he started creating this style of play, it was foreign to the baseball gurus. As it turns out, Beane’s theory was correct. If you score more runs than the other team more often, you generally win a lot more games. So he went searching for guys who could get on base, whatever it took. That meant guys who hit for average, walked a lot, and moved runners over. In essence, the more “at bats” you get, the more runs you can score.
Insurance sales isn’t much different.
I had a conversation recently with a coaching client of mine who is the area president for a national broker. He said, “Dan, it seems like we have producers who are constantly searching for the grand slam home run to make their year. By playing for the grand slam, they never fully fill their prospect pipeline.” He is exactly right. Like some baseball teams who constantly play for the long ball, it can become a feast or famine situation. Consistency goes out the door. You need producers who play “Moneyball.”
“At bats” are crucial in baseball and they are for your sales, too. Activity breeds meeting a lot of new people. Like walks, hits, and errors get batters on base; referrals, networking, and speaking get you in front of prospects. The more ideal prospects you meet, the more your pipeline grows. All you then have to do is bat about .300 and you’re an All-Star!
Bottom line – playing solely for the grand slam is dangerous. It’s always great to hit one and very important that you do once in awhile. As long as it comes around as part of the overall strategy of getting at bats, then that’s great. If it comes at the expense, that’s not good news for you. After all, in order to hit that grand slam, you need to fill the bases!
You can build your own “Moneyball team” by consistently doing things that get you at bats constantly. That activity is sure to keep you rounding the bases all year long.
© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved