News & Research Archive

Distractions - A Salesperson's Biggest Fault

May 19, 2010

Hall of Famer Ernie Banks was once asked after he got inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame what type of player he would have been in today's era of baseball. His response was, "I would not be in the Hall of Fame." He went on to say that today's baseball offers to many distractions for the players. It starts first with the big salaries. Ernie stated that in his era of baseball they were only thinking about playing baseball and doing the things necessary to win a game not worry about the impact on individual stats that could impact a salary negotiation. Players today rarely do the little things that could win more ballgames, such as bunt or sacrifice to move the runner along. Also, today's baseball player has to deal with the media, advertising commitments - being more in the public spotlight. Ernie ended by saying all we wanted to do was "just play two" two ballgames in one day it was about concentrating on the game.

Recently I attended a sales seminar that touched upon the same thing - distractions that salespeople are faced with each and every day. Emails and the Internet come to mind. Most of us, if we break down our day, spend an amazing amount of our day just keeping busy, instead of focusing our sole attention on the sale.

This seminar's tag line was "Just take the Stairs," it started off by showing us day to day pictures of people taking the easy way instead of the stairs. The New York Subway picture was particularly telling when you see two escalators full of people going up and down and no one using the stairs. Today we have created a convenient lifestyle for ourselves that looks to the short cuts instead of focusing on learning, developing, and implementing a successful business plan or sales strategy.

At the beginning of this seminar it was indicated that the event was intended to be as much of a networking session as a sales seminar. They gave us an assignment - to meet as many people as we could that day and gather business cards - a prize would be awarded to the participant who collected the most. There were at least 800 people there. At the first break, most everyone in the room gathered with their own salespeople. They did not network except one older salesperson from Keller Williams. This lady worked the room. She asked for your card but more importantly she asked for business.

I found it fascinating to watch her, not only because she was the only one doing it, but also because she was focused on doing it - you could see the commitment. I went to her at the end of the day and told her that she was something special; she proceeded to ask me if I knew anyone that needed a house in Patterson. I told her that I did not know where Patterson was and asked was it near Sacramento. Her response was "I can help you and your clients with a house in Sacramento too." Ernie Banks would have been proud of her.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 25 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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