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  • Brett Zalaski

'You Stink at Sales.'

Editor's Note: This article was written with the complete approval of the #sportsbiz sales rep involved. We will never use any piece of information for an article from any training or conversation without consent.


As much as I love working with teams, some of my favorite parts of my job are when I work with individual sales reps. I had a rep from a minor league sports team reach out to me with the following question:


'I know I'm good at sales, I just can't seem to sell anything. Can we schedule some time to discuss what I can do to make more sales?'


After a 30 minute conversation about their process and why they think they're good at sales, I was ready for my assessment. I said, 'You stink at sales.'


This took the rep back, and they started stammering about why they knew they were good, and how dare I, and etc. etc. etc. I waited until they were done, and then asked, 'Can I explain why?'


A little embarrassed by their reaction, they apologized and agreed. I told them that everything they told me came from a place of arrogance. Believe that they were good at sales had stopped them from actually getting better at sales. They were focused on results, and had stopped focusing on the process.


Being 'good at sales' isn't seared into us at any time. We might be good at sales one year and crappy at it the next. Same for months, and weeks, and even days. The only way to continue to be better at sales is to...be better at sales. You can't just apply yourself in the effort you put out each week, you need to develop yourself as a salesperson.

Teams pay me money to come in and talk about sales, and yet, in my bag right now, I have a book I'm reading that's informing me about sales. Our education is NEVER done. The most dangerous thing a sales rep can believe is that they are a good salesperson. That means they believe their education is done.


The best salespeople are not the ones that are simply hungriest to make a sale...they are also hungriest to develop and grow as salespeople.


By the way, that sales rep? This conversation occurred at the beginning of March. Their investment in themselves made May the biggest sales month of their entire career. And they are one sale in June away from topping it. I bet they do it.