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.

 

 

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Motivational Quote: Influencing Others

father-and-son-playing-videogames

“To influence, you need to first meet people where they are, before you can guide them where you want them to go.” – Richard Elmes

Money well spent

Black and Orange Sports Car

I was driving with my teenage son the other day, in very well used old car, and we saw this car parked in a neighbour’s driveway and he said, “Wow that guy must be doing well to have a cool car like that.”

I responded, “Yaa….. I could have had a car like that…. but then I wouldn’t be able to afford you. And I like my investment better.”

“In our quest for more, remember the best investments you can make is in the ones you love.” – Richard Elmes

#kidsareexpensive, #kidsareworthit, #moneywellspent #investinrelationships

Former Blue Jay has a perfect day

Every little league pitcher dreams of this kind of day.

Every minor league pitcher dreams of this kind of day.

And every major league pitcher dreams of this kind of day.

But only 20 pitchers in history have had this kind of … perfect day.

Yesterday, Philadelphia Phillies (and former Blue Jays) ace pitcher  Roy “Doc” Halladay had a perfect day.

The former Cy Young award winner won the game 1-0 by not allowing even one of the Florida Marlins hitters to reach base.  27 batters, 27 straight outs.

But do you really think that this is the first time Roy has done this?

I would bet that he has dreamed this type of perfect game many times.

I would bet that in his game preperation he visualizes getting every batter out.

And I would bet that this was a key to his success, not only last night, but throughout his career.

Because when you practice in your mind you are making mental tracks for your body to follow.

And since you are making mental tracks, you may as well make those tracks the best you can possibly make them.

Someone once said that practice makes perfect. But that isn’t true. It is perfect practice that makes perfection.

So what do you want to achieve? And are you mentally practicing a perfect outcome. If not, why not.

Congratulations Roy on your perfect game and thanks for the lessons that can help us achieve success in our future.

Motivational Quote: Conquering Fear

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

“It is not the mountain that we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary, The first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest

Motivational Quote: The Winning Attitude

This quote comes from the Legandary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden.

“The people who turn out best are those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Is it a pitch or a presentation?

There was an interesting conversation this morning on Facebook between three excellent professional speakers (I would highly recommend each one of them) about the difference between sales pitches and sales presentations.

Prospects hate being pitched to

Kelley Robertson

 http://www.kelleyrobertson.com/

It’s a sales presentation, not a pitch!! Pet peeve of mine!!

Kit Grant http://kitgrant.com/

How well you do it is more important than what you call it. Companies who start calling customers guests under the premise that this somehow creates better service are kidding no one except themselves. I don’t mind being “pitched” if it’s done well.

 Kelley Robertson

Point taken, Kit. However, in my opinion the vast majority of sales people “pitch” with very little effectiveness.

Kit Grant

You got that right.

Richard Elmes http://www.richardelmes.com

I think the key thing is the intended benefactor.

If your intent is for you to benefit… its a sales pitch.

If your focus is on how your prospect will benefit… its a sales presentation.

If they feel like you are pitching to them then you create a lose-lose situation.

If they feel like you are presenting solutions then you create a win-win situation.

Kelley Robertson

Great perspective Richard!
So next time you are offering your solution focus on how your prospect will benefit because they will know the difference.
If you want to learn how to turn your sales pitch into an effective customer-focused presentation that will secure more sales, contact me @ 519-820-6207 or richard@richardelmes.com