by Jacques Werth
It is very difficult to hit a baseball, thrown at over 80 miles per hour, with a regulation sized bat. You get to swing the bat at the ball up to three times, each time you get up to bat. If you get a hit one out of every four times at bat, that’s up to twelve attempts to hit the ball. Almost any team will pay you $2,000,000 a year to do that. You also get a three month vacation and free coaching. If you can get a hit one out of every three times you go to bat, you can make upwards of $5,000,000 per year. That is the sports entertainment business.
In most other businesses, salespeople only make about $165,000 per year to sell one out of four prospects. On average they get about 4 attempts to sell each prospect. Salespeople who sell three out of four prospects and only need to make 2 attempts per prospect, often make upwards of $700,000 – and they have to pay for their own coaching. However, it’s a lot easier than hitting a baseball.
3 thoughts on “Baseball vs. Selling”
And, if one is a high-performing independent salesperson, one can also take 3 months vacation.
C’mon now. Where do these huge earnings numbers come from? The U.S. Dept of Labor reports median pay for sales reps across business sectors is $45,000 to $80,000 a year. Even that seems high. I know plenty of salespeople from a wide variety of industries. Most of them would need four or five years total to earn $165,000. Being a salesman quite often means having a prepaid cellphone, junky old car, and a mailbox full of overdue bills.
Tossing out huge pay numbers like these induces desperate souls to continue to sell themselves into wage slavery and cling to self-delusion, which, by the way, customers can sense.
Mike – By definition, “Median pay” indicates what average salespeople earn. They don’t get many appointments and don’t even close 10% of their prospects.
The numbers I “tossed around” in my article are for exceptional salespeople. You can find the numbers in Selling Power Magazine’s annual report of sales compensation. CSO Insights’ compensation reports show similar earnings.