Episode OneHundredNineteen

Why Selling is an Away Game

Guest: Lance Tyson, Owner, President, and CEO of Tyson Group

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About This Episode

On today’s episode of the Sales Engagement podcast Lance Tyson joins us to discuss his take on sales in the Information Age. Lance is a seasoned entrepreneur who is known for training professional athletes and entertainers, and is the founder behind the Tyson Group.

Lance got his start in sales with Dale Carnegie Training where he became a trusted advisor and sports teams began to form a relationship with him there, which he was able to maintain in later years. 

Today he has worked with organizations such as the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Cowboys, the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Sports Management, and the LA Rams. 

His biggest problem? 

Knowing who to cheer for.

Selling is like sports

Lance openly admits he’s not too choosy–he’s a fan of anyone he does business with. And he’s stolen a page out of the other team’s playbook with his book Sales Is An Away Game, by explaining how sports can be a lot like sales. In away games, the home team has a tough time psychologically because the playing field, court, or rink (Lance works with teams in several professional sports) must adapt to a different terrain. 

Similarly, in sales the buyer’s journey all takes place in the customer’s head. Being aware of this can help sellers to feel more empowered to understand the nuances of the selling process. 

For instance, he discusses how he likes to hire people from the restaurant industry, because anyone in the restaurant business knows what it means to be agile. In fact, the best person he ever recruited was a server at PF Chang’s. 

One of the things that is really misunderstood about pro sports is that they are major brands but they are small companies, making them also share the need to be agile. Average pro sports teams have 150 employees. Despite being backed by billionaire owners, they still have the problems that small to midsize companies have. 

Close business and compete in a complex world

Ten years ago the buyer was at a disadvantage, because the seller could misinform him or her. Today, every buyer is legitimately armed with insight, knowledge, and a wealth of information that wasn’t present at any other time in history. 

The buyer can find out more in 5-10 minutes with a simple internet search than most salespeople can explain in the same amount of time.

This means that the dynamic has shifted in the art of selling. 

With review sites, forums and online pricing being listed right on the website, it has now become way too easy for buyers to educate themselves on sales tactics, which is why the work of building relationships is integral to what Lance teaches in his sales trainings. 

Be the antithesis of the salesperson stereotype

Lance explains how if you want to succeed, you need to get rid of the sales stereotypes in order to gain consumer trust. 

In order to do that he suggests three tips for salespeople: 

  • Understand how people buy in today’s tech savvy market.
  • Master the Undersell–there are so many extreme sources of information–people are looking for persuasive selling i.e. “have you ever thought of it this way?” Buyers think they are experts as well, so use soft persuasion to not seem overbearing.
  • Sales is a lonely game so learn how to play against yourself! 

The future of sales

Lance also points out some useful tips that he feels have gone overlooked by a lot of sales teams.

He shares the following sage wisdom: 

  • You are going to have to manage fragmented conversations–become okay with that. 
  • Stay out of where it is noisy. If a marketplace is overcrowded, get out.
  • You might have to go slower to go faster and run from best practices, because they become saturated. 

To hear this episode and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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