Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good pitchers start in the bullpen

Growing up playing baseball there was a few different types of guys that would end up on the mound. The ones that practiced and really tried to improve with each pitch. Ones that their dads complained to the coach enough that their kid deserved to pitch. Players that just were thrown in to eat up innings to get a game over with a big lead or big loss.

As a pitcher, I spent hours more in the bullpen or throwing to live hitters in practice than in the game itself. Every pitch learning a little more. Ball went high, bend your back more. Curve is hanging, snap it off more. This guy has an open stance, this guy crowds the plate. What do I need to do to match my strengths to best defeat his weaknesses. A pitcher thinks this way.

A thrower gets up and just wants to throw strikes. They don’t know how. Just throw and hope that it crosses in the strike zone. Maybe throw a curve because in warm ups you though it was cute to do and lets just give it a shot in the game. They don’t have a process to improve. What success they may get is from a random series of events tied together by hope and luck.

When going after new business which one are you?

How many times have you been to a sporting event and say, “Wow, they make that look easy.”

Easy comes from process of improvement. It comes from doing the same little things over and over.

I enjoy seeing ads for “Pitch Manager for large NY firm” and wonder what that entails for that firm. Are they pitching or throwing?

When putting together a pitch do you fully understand your strengths? More importantly where your prospective customers are weak? Why do they want to engage your services?

Are you pitching the same pitch no matter who you are attempting to secure as customers?

This is where fully understanding a prospective customers needs come in. What are they hoping to accomplish? How much is it costing them today to do it the way that they are doing it? Who does this involve? What percentage of time is being taken up by doing it this way..?

How much better could they do if you provided them the capability? Have they agreed to that or are you taking ownership of the solution?

Pitchers are an investment, throwers are a liability. The good pitchers invest the time to learning about their prospective clients more than anyone else. They treat each one as individuals.

How much time are you spending in the bullpen understanding, preparing and improving, versus just throwing at anyone that will listen?

Written by Andrew Wilcox,, 850-893-8984

Thursday, April 16, 2009