How Communication is like Football

With the Super Bowl 50 coming up this weekend, I thought I would explore how throwing a football (sorry American football to soccer fans outside of North America), is like the communication process. Enjoy.

You may be the smartest salesperson in your industry. You may have a great product, and your product knowledge may be outstanding, but if you can’t communicate this to your customers in an easily digestible manner, you won’t be very successful.

“The thinking human being, not able to express himself, stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” Pericles

Communication is vital!

Denver Broncos vs Carolina+Panthers

One way to think about the process of effectively communicating with someone, is to think about Football.

So how are Football and Communications alike?

  • The quarterback is the sender of the message
  • The football is the message
  • The pass is the medium (or delivery mechanism) of the message
  • The defence, the crowd noise, the cute cheerleaders,  the sun (or stadium lights) in the receiver’s eyes are the barriers that get in the way of the message being delivered
  • The Wide Receiver receives the message.
  • What the Wide Receiver does after catching the ball provides feedback

In football, you can have a quarterback (Peyton Manning / Cam Newton) who can throw the ball 60 yards down the field, but if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, the team doesn’t advance.

While communicating, if the message is delivered, but not received as intended, communication breaks down and the relationship doesn’t advance.

“The only way he could have said less would have been to talk longer.” Charles Jarvis

Seven key ways to improve your communication with your customers are:

  1. Reduce technical jargon
  2. Unless you are 100% sure they know what the acronyms mean, use the long forms (i.e. C.P.S.A – Canadian Professional Sales Association , N.S.A -National Speakers Association or N.F.L – National Football League)
  3. Get to the point quicker
  4. Tell a (short) story that makes your point
  5. Try to reduce distractions (i.e. noise in a crowded room)
  6. Check for understanding
  7. Use analogies that they are likely to understand (i.e. Communication is like Football)

So next time you are want to communicate think of football because it can help you score with your customers or anyone you want to connect with.

 

 

The Secret of how I became “The Sales Dating Guy”

I recently explained why I am called The Sales Dating guy in an answer to the following question on LinkedIN:

Business analogies. Do you use them?

Here is my answer:

Analogies are a great way to make complex material more digestible for your audience.

For instance, I use the analogy that Selling is like Dating and Customer Service is like Marriage in my Sales Training programs.

Using this analogy not only adds a lot of humour to the program, but it hooks the new sales concepts that I am teaching to something they already know (dating).

This increases retention of the knowledge which paves the way for a powerful (and fun) learning experience.

I would encourage you to continue to use analogies that make sense in your situation and with your audience in order to increase retention and help your audience “get” what you are communicating to them.

That explains why I use the analogy, but it doesn’t explain how I got the name “The Sales Dating Guy”.

That story includes a road trip and an enlighted experience with a powerful woman from Australia (who is not my wife) …. which I will save for a future blog.

If you want to find our more about how Sales Dating can help you and your organization increase sales, email me @ richard@richardelmes.com or phone me @ 519-820-6207.