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‘He makes them in practice all the time.’

05 Apr 2021 12:40 PM | Steve DeLay (Administrator)

– Mark Few, head coach of Gonzaga about Jalen Sugg’s three-point buzzer beater in the Final Four.

By Steve DeLay

If you were still awake at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday night, you saw the end of a tremendous basketball game as Gonzaga beat UCLA on a buzzer beater.

What was even more amazing was Gonzaga head coach Mark Few’s comments after the game when he said, ‘we practice that all the time.  He makes them in practice all the time.’

It got me thinking about practice and the power of practicing so much, doing something in live action is second nature.  It works for last second buzzer beaters where the coach doesn’t need to take a timeout because his players know what to do.  It works for practicing your golf swing where you have it so engrained, you can take it easily from the range to the course and have your swing, or your putting stroke hold up under pressure.  It works for the military who practices and drills over and over so in the heat of the battle, soldiers don’t have to think, they just do.


My question to you today is have you practiced your sales pitch enough where it will hold up under pressure?  Will you know what to do when that key prospect tries to throw you off with an objection?  Will you know how to act when the prospect gives you a crazy curve ball about having to ask his or her dog, spouse, neighbor or long lost brother before they say yes?

Sure, practicing your sales pitch isn’t nearly as cool or sexy as practicing 40 footers to win a Final Four game.  It’s not nearly as much fun as practicing hitting drives 300 yards.  But, it’s your livelihood.  It may not be as much fun but it’s way, way, way more important.

Most teams give new salespeople some initial sales training for a couple days or even a week.  Then, they turn the salespeople loose.  There is no follow up practice.  The rest is up to the salesperson.  Imagine if Mark Few left it up to his players on what to do in the last three seconds of their Final Four game.  Would the same result have happened?  Highly doubtful.

If your sales manager isn’t like Mark Few, take it upon yourself to practice.  Pull one of your colleagues in to an empty office and practice your sales pitch.  Watch webinars, invest in yourself and your own training.

Like Mark Few didn’t on Saturday night, don’t take any chances your salespeople know what to do.  If you need more practice but don’t have the time, I’ll practice with them through The Ultimate Toolkit’s online sales training programs at

You’ll be glad you did.

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