OK I admit it, even though the college football season is still a few months off I was thinking about college football this afternoon instead of working. I was remembering back to some of the great players that were college hero’s who made it big in pro football.
I grew up in Kansas and with only two major universities in the state. At that time we didn’t always have a bumper crop of top tier players. One big talent that came out of the area in the 1960’s was John Riggins. John hailed from a tiny town in northeast Kansas and was active in multiple high school sports. He attended and played football for the University of Kansas, was an All American, and led the Jayhawks to a Big 8 Conference Championship in 1968. That KU team went on to play in the 1969 Orange Bowl, though they lost to Penn State 15-14.
John was a first round draft choice of the New York Jets in 1971 and he joined the Washington Redskins in 1976 playing there until 1985 when he retired. John played 175 games in 14 seasons and set 20 NFL records along the way, a very remarkable career.
So why would John Riggins have been a rainmaker had he been in sales instead of professional football? The simple answer is persistence and consistency. John did make big standout plays, but he is best remembered as the player that gave it 100% the entire game. It was not unusual to see John carry the ball 30+ times per game. When time ran out the Redskins won more often that not and John often had another 100 yard game.
It’s probable that your sales rainmakers have the same DNA as John Riggins. They know that selling is a process that if practiced correctly will have predictable results. They also know that even if they play a hard game they won’t win every time. After ‘their’ game is over they review the game footage, analyze what they did right/wrong, and make corrections for the next time they take the field. They also know that there are other team members that are important to their success and they recognize that effort on an ongoing basis.
A diving catch at the goal line for a win can be exciting but not as exciting as a team that consistently executes day in and day out. Try to stack your team with consistent, loyal players that understand your process and are driven to win day in and day out. By the way, did I mention that many of the records John set occurred in his latter playing years, so don’t overlook seasoned players!