Industry Views

Pending Business: What’s a Sale?

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

Photography - BroadcastingLet’s take a lesson from arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all time: John Wooden.

The coach wanted every UCLA player on the same page, so he took time in meetings to explain the proper way to put on those old school basketball socks. You know, the ones that came up to mid-calf, usually double stripped at the top. There was a clear method to Wooden’s genius. Taking meeting time to show budding superstars like Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton something so fundamental achieved several goals.

 — Fundamentals count. There is nothing more basic than how to properly put on your socks and mastering the basics wins.

— Short cut the basics and you will suffer. Having worn those socks through thousands of school yard games myself, rush the process and painful blisters follow.

— Every player starts every practice, every game the same way.

Every year I would conduct one sales meeting asking my team to answer the question, “Can you define a sale?” I know, that’s way too basic for sellers earning six figures. It’s an embarrassing waste of time for the tenured sellers who had proven themselves in the field every day. Was I wasting the time of those newer team members who were looking forward to the highest commission rate in the market?

Try it. Chances are you will get so many different answers your sales team will seem like a Cirque du Soleil act.

There IS a simple, legal definition of a sale. It all starts with an “exchange.” Once you dissect the definition and focus on the dynamics of the “exchange” you will understand how and why a sale is a process that needs constant care.

Most sellers and managers move right past that critical dynamic. You know the one that requires confidence from both the buyer and the seller. That one dynamic, the exchange between confident buyer and seller goes back to 1626 when it was rumored Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island for 60 guilders or $24.

There is something to be said for getting all sellers on the same page by starting with the basics.

John Wooden’s record 11 national championships still stands. I figured if it worked for the greatest college basketball coach of all time, it could work for me. Emphasizing the basics should work for you too!

Enjoy the Madness this March.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: