Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! This is going to be a really fun message. We’re going to talk about how the routines I developed as a professional baseball player helped me build a thriving insurance business.
I think we can all admit that this will be one of the craziest holiday seasons ever. Our habits, daily rituals, and time management skills have all been tested this year, haven’t they? Now, we’re heading into the holidays, which will end up being virtual celebrations for many of us. At uncertain times like these, routines are absolutely priceless when it comes to feeling good about what you’re doing — whether that’s keeping your body in shape, cultivating relationships, or building a business.
When you don’t have clarity and routines for each step towards your goals, your confidence wanes. When your confidence suffers, you don’t feel like doing the right things. When you don’t do the right things, self-doubt creeps in, and all of a sudden, you have fewer sales opportunities, and you’re winning less at business.
Before you know it, you’re in a mental dumpster fire, and you feel like you don’t even know what you’re doing. I know because I’ve been there plenty of times in my career. But I’m taking this time today to share with you my routines as a starting pitcher that later equipped me to win sales as an insurance agent. And then, I’m going to walk you through three questions to help you create your own solid sales routine.
If you’re ready to own your days and your business in the midst of our weird holiday season, this is a message you don’t want to miss!
My “Go Time” Pre-Game Pitcher’s Routine
When I was pitching for UWM, I made or broke my performance by whether or not I practiced my pre-game routine. It didn’t matter how crazy my life has been that week. If I went through my pre-game plan and recovery regime between games, I would feel good about my performance when the game ended.
I spent most of my pitching career at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee as the starting pitcher. As a starter, I had a very defined plan of action — a very clear routine to build my confidence and make sure my attention was locked in for the game.
My routine started about 45 minutes before I even stepped into the bullpen to warm up. First, I jogged from pole to pole. If you imagine a baseball field, I would slow jog on the warning track from the left-field foul pole, all the way over to the right-field foul pole. I jogged that pattern for about ten minutes. Then I would find the foul line, and I would run sprints.
If you know anything about pitching, you know that if you have a leg problem, you also have an arm problem. So I spent a bunch of time making sure my legs were at their best as well as my pitching arm. After the sprints, I would jump rope about 500 times. Random, I know, but it was my go-to. Next, I would stretch out my legs and arms. Then it was time to start playing catch.
I would start in the outfield with the catcher, maybe 30 or 40 feet away. Gradually, we would work back to 60 feet, then 70, until we were about 120 feet apart playing long toss. I was literally throwing the ball as hard as I could from 120 feet out. After all that was done, it was finally time to go in the bullpen.
Once we got into the bullpen, I had a set routine for that, too. I would throw in front of the pitcher’s mound in sets of five, then do it again standing on the pitcher’s mound, and again behind the mound. I would repeat that whole set — focusing on accuracy.
So, why did I do all that? Because I knew that when I performed that routine from start to finish, I was locked in — my body was ready, and my head was in the game. It gave me the confidence to be like, “All right, it’s go time!” Later, this same principle became a key ingredient to my success as an insurance advisor. When I had a solid sales routine, I interacted with clients with more confidence and authenticity. As a result, my business grew!
Part One of a Successful Sales Routine
If you’re in sales, you’re trying to grow, right? To grow, you need confidence in yourself, and you need to get people’s attention. If there’s one thing business owners learned from COVID-19, I think it’s the importance of having an online presence. Overnight we went from talking to people face-to-face and attending networking events to being limited to our homes, phones, and internet.
Moving forward, you’re always going to need an online presence if you want to succeed in business. At least, that’s my prediction. So, the first step in your sales routine needs to be, “How am I going to get people’s attention?”
In the old days, we taught people to cold call, right? I still think cold calling is a relevant part of a sales plan, but it can’t be your only strategy. Think about how many spam calls everyone gets. Very few people pick up their phone unless they recognize the number. Cold calling implies that your number is not one that the person you’re calling knows. So, you’re going to have to make even more phone calls to get one person to pick up.
But what if you could get the attention of 20, 70, 100, several thousand people at one time? They might not all buy insurance, but they would see you and what you’re doing. Pretty sweet, right? That’s the power of leveraging technology and social media. Instead of trying to get the attention of one person at a time through cold calling and going door-to-door, you can get the attention of exponentially more prospects at one time.
So, my question to you is, do you have a clear plan of action for gaining the attention of your prospect?What is your strategy for leveraging social media? Are you hosting webinars? What kind of emails are you sending out? It is easier today to grab the attention of your prospects, but it’s also harder than hell because everybody’s doing it. So you have to be consistent and find a way to stand out!
Part Two of a Successful Sales Routine
Now, I didn’t just have a pre-game routine. I had a routine for every time I took the mound. This was important for two reasons. First, if I wanted to last all nine innings, I couldn’t throw too hard, and I needed to throw accurately. Secondly, I needed to keep the batter guessing. So, I had to tweak my game plan every single week. And I had to tweak it based on who was up to bat.
Let’s relate this to your business. Once you have someone’s attention, how are you going to earn their business? Every time you get a new prospect, do you feel like you’re recreating the wheel? I believe that you need to personalize your pitch to each prospect, but you should have a foundational plan that you tweak.
See, if every time I took the mound, I tried to recreate the wheel, I was totally screwed. Instead, I had a basic plan that slightly adjusted according to who was in front of me. You can and should do the same in business. When a prospect comes into your pipeline, you need to know exactly which steps you’re going to take them through. Then, based on their different challenges, desires, and goals, you can tailor the steps to them.
Once you have your plan in place, never stop innovating —know its conversion rates, which sections really connected with your prospect, and which ones felt like a filler. Continue adjusting and improving it as you go!
Part Three of a Successful Sales Routine
After my game was over, whether we won or lost, I had to keep my body in shape. My arm needed to rest, rehabilitate, and rebuild. My post-game routine started with icing my arm right after the game. The next day I would go for a long run to get the lactic acid moving and leaving my body. After a day or two of rest, I would start pitching again and have bullpen sessions with my coach.
Just like I needed a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to play a successful game, you need a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to succeed in business. So, after you’ve gotten the attention of your prospect and walked them through your sales process, you need to keep them happy.
A lot of people spend so much time trying to win new business and recreating the wheel that they forget to keep their current clients happy. I don’t want that to be you! So, my challenge to you is this: Do you have a clear annual plan to ensure that your new client remains a happy client year after year after year?
It can be a birthday card with a $5 Starbucks gift card or a simple phone call to see if they have any questions. But whatever it is, you need to have a system to provide them value and let them know you haven’t forgotten them!
What Game Plans Have to Do with Winning During a Lockdown
Whether we acknowledge it or not, what we do routinely paves the way to our success. When the lockdowns forced us into a different way of life, they disrupted our roadmap to achieving our goals. That’s the main reason I think many of our goals flew out the window this year — our routines and action plans were rocked in a significant way.
But I truly believe that if you set up a solid sales routine, you can start making strides in your business again and increase your confidence. Remember, as a salesperson, your priority is to have a clear plan of action to gain your prospects’ attention. Secondly, create a few basic steps for leading them from being an unhappy prospect to a happy client. Finally, have a system for keeping them a happy client for years to come.
Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.
Secondly, I want to help you recover the remaining days of this year, so I created a ten-day holiday challenge. Every day for ten days, I’ll send you a coaching video to help you establish the daily habits and mindset you need to take control of your business and life! If that sounds helpful to you just text the word “challenge” to (414) 622-1462. It’s going to be a ton of fun!
That’s my advice for you today. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something! If you did, please do me a favor — go to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and leave a review! And if you know of anybody in your life that might benefit from this, whether it’s a family member, friend, or colleague, please share it with them. You post a screenshot of this on Instagram, tag me, @andyneary, and let me know what you learned!
Until next time, folks!