Have you ever thought about how often a batter is likely to fail? One of the best of all time, Ted Williams, had a career batting average of .344. That means he only had a 34.4 percent chance of getting a hit. In fact, since 1876 there have only been 35 times that a player had a batting average over .400 in a single season. Even though Ted Williams failed to reach base on a hit more often not, he’s still known as one of the best hitters to ever play the game. If you bat .300 or higher, you’re considered a good hitter. It must be extremely difficult to stay positive when you know that there is a 70 percent chance you’ll fail.
Want to know why Ted Williams and all of the best players stayed positive? They had the gift of instant amnesia.
If you sulk after every missed swing or opportunity to get a hit, you’ll spend nearly every game, season—and ultimately your entire career—missing out on other opportunities. Think about how much potential business you would miss out on. As soon as you strike out, you should forget about it and move on to the next play. As long as you’re still in the game, there will be another opportunity right around the corner. Try focusing on the next at-bat and the potential big play you can make for your team rather than focusing on what happened in the past.
I know it’s easier said than done, and it comes with experience. Nevertheless, the sooner you learn to move on from missed opportunities, the sooner you’ll pick up the phone, make another call and ultimately win your next big piece of business.
Know Your Stats
To stay focused on the game, I find it crucial to know my stats. It’s sort of like the Moneyball approach in baseball. If I don’t know my success rates every time I dial the phone to make a cold call or meet with a new prospect, then it’s like shooting in the dark. Instead, I’ve spent the past five years tracking my calling information very closely. This way, I know the likelihood of someone picking up the phone. Further, I know how often I’ll reach the person I am looking for. Want more proof? I even know how many meetings I’ll win for every call I make.
You can take this approach even further if you’d like. Personally, I continue to track how much money I make based on deals I’ve completed from a cold call. Now I even know how much a single phone call is worth. If every time a new prospect picks up the phone it’s worth $100 in future commissions, then you might feel like you hit a single even when no one answers the phone, or worse, tells you to go away. Want to make $250,000 annually? Then make 2,500 cold calls. Know your numbers. Trust your numbers.
These theories apply to anyone in sports or sales. Give yourself a goal to reach, and when you have a failed call or meeting, forget it. Instant amnesia. Remember, you’re working towards a greater goal. You can’t hit 50 home runs in one swing, but you can hit 50 home runs over the course of a 162 game season. Do your homework, be prepared and—most importantly—be confident. The next opportunity is right around the corner. Odds are that you’ll fail, but what if you hit a home run?
Based in Princeton, N.J., Vinny specializes in tenant and landlord representation for Colliers International, working directly with his clients in the acquisition and disposition of office space. For more commercial real estate insight and trends, follow Vinny on Twitter.