The Muguruza Margin, Selling is a Game of Tennis

By Jeremy Blake on July 20, 2017

Garbine Muguruza destroyed Venus Williams in the second set of their final at this year’s Wimbledon.

Here’s some of the stats:

Unforced errors 11 to Williams 25. 25 points is over 6 games worth!

Break points won 4/7 versus Venus 0/3.

This is the biggie, in the first set Venus had the first of her three break points to win the set, she didn’t convert it, or the other two that came her way.

If you like tennis and you work in business to business sales, this post will resonate with you.

This post is aimed directly at you, the salesperson who often finds himself or herself alone, either in the office, or on the road.

1. Get your First Serves In. This is how you open your conversation. The very first question you use. The research you demonstrate in that question. You might comment on their company news, an aspect of their experience and background gleaned from LinkedIn. Only this week I got a highly effective question from a specialist B-B telesales firm, Bestseller, based in Munich. Terry a North American asked me, “I see on your website senior people with job titles about training and running the company, but who does the responsibility of sales and selling fall to?”

If you’re picking up the phone to help you increase your activity rate without doing effective research and preparation, you are going to hit the net, or go wide of the service box.

Muguruza's 77% win rate on her first serve was huge. It was this success on her serve that powered her to the Wimbledon trophy.

Let your first serve give you the forward motion you need.

2. Convert your break points. The moment the client lets you know what their challenges are and lays them openly on the table for you to see. This is your moment to know exactly how to prove your capability and bring out your evidence, the social proof, the statistics, the case study, the related story that removes their doubts and nudges you closer to winning the deal.

A new client said that Reality Training seemed expensive last week. I told them that without having us train yet, what he felt was a natural response. I mentioned that “of the 19 clients that we worked with last year, 12 were repeat and 7 were new. The 12 that repeated had said exactly the same thing as you before we helped them”.

Muguruza converted over half her break points at the crucial moments, 4/7, meaning only a hold of her own serve was required, which she was in control of.

3. Reduce your unforced errors. The mistakes you make on your own rather than the ones you have been forced to make are very different. Hitting a forehand into the net, missing the open court, making a double fault are all caused by a player’s own self-doubt or lack of technique, not throwing the ball high enough on serve, or most often not getting your feet in the right place before you hit the ball.

It is the same in sales.

Not having checked the tech before you fire up the presentation. Hoping there is wi-fi access without ringing ahead to check. Not printing out extra copies of the presentation – you didn’t think the financial director was going to turn up – all of these are unforced errors. Forgetting to role play the objections you might face as you get closer to closing the deal or renewing the contract are major mistakes that you can eliminate.

My brother sells credit card machines and he uses ‘the cup of coffee close’, as he calls it, to deal with his biggest objection that his credit card machine is a little more than some of the competition. He knows this objection will come. Whenever he notices a branded coffee cup or good coffee machine in their workplace he asks, “what makes you buy X coffee over making a cup of instant coffee?” Their reply invariably talks about the fact the ground coffee is of higher quality and the taste is better and they see it as good value compared to paying less for a lot less. My brother talks about the speed of the machine without the need of having to apologise to customers waiting with the slow dial up versions, and the UK contact centre being a major plus. They nod, smile and sign on the line.

With the Reality Sales Tracker App, you can get more margin on your shots and play a better sales game. In as little as 90 days you can reduce your unforced errors, get more of your first serves in and convert your break points.

For the next few months the App is still free.

Learn more about the Sales Tracker and become a winner like Muguruza.