Sales Olympics

From the Desk of: Sales Chick


Dear Oprah,

Since you are hang­ing out in Copen­hagen pitch­ing the idea of the Sum­mer Olympics in Chicago with your side kick Pres­i­dent Obama (Seri­ously, you know who really has all the juice and influ­ence.  After all how many books, or bras, has he sold?)

I thought it would be great time for you to slip in my idea of the Sales Olympics.

Really it would be fun. Think about it. It would last about a week and it would go some­thing like below. Remem­ber, though, this has to be all ama­teurs, so only the mon­keys that think they know how to sell could par­tic­i­pate. We pro­fes­sion­als would judge.

Time­line: 5 days

Com­pe­ti­tion Day 1: 10,000 meter hurdles

Make a cold call. Good. That’s your warm up. Now make 30.In the next hour. Con­tinue that for two more hours.

To win this round you must:

  • Con­vince 15 cranky admins to put you through to an actual person
  • Leave 42 VM’s that have an appro­pri­ate value cre­ation state­ment in them
  • Get 3 phys­i­cal meet­ings booked
  • Points are deducted if you mum­ble, don’t leave your phone num­ber twice, or say “Uh” when some­one actu­ally answers

Com­pe­ti­tion Day 2–3: Decathlon

Hit the road. You thought cold call­ing on the phone was hard? Do it in per­son. To win this round you must com­plete the fol­low­ing sports:

  • The Drop By — Stop by 23 prospects in person.
  • The Leave Behind — Drop off 67 pieces of literature
  • The Cold Meet­ing — Get in front of 8 key prospects. Lit­er­ally, in front of them.
  • That may actu­ally mean dodg­ing secu­rity, admins, block­ers, etc. You must be savvy and nimble.
  • The fol­low Up — Get 3 of them to agree to another appointment
    • Only counts if you watch them actu­ally put it on their cal­en­dar or call their admin to sched­ule it
    • Bonus points if they check some­one else’s cal­en­dar and send them the appointment
  • Expense Report Limbo — Stay in a hotel that is under the company’s daily expense allot­ment. And don’t exceed the daily meal allowance…. And do it in NYC or L.A.
    • Bonus points if you fig­ure out how to lie that you work for a local com­pany or the gov­ern­ment and get their dis­count so you can  stay in a real hotel where you enter your bed­room from the inside of the building
    • Addi­tional bonus points if you can find a way to hide 4 cock­tails into your daily expenses
    • Points are deducted if you eat fast food or ask for a menu at the Chili’s/ Applebee’s/ Friday’s,
  • Over all points are also deducted if you don’t use your wind­shield time to make an addi­tional 15 f/u calls with prospects and con­duct at least 1 inter­nal prep call. (Bonus points are added, how­ever, if you make phone calls while dri­ving in a state where it’s ille­gal to talk on the phone while driving.)
  • Sur­prise Event! — Table Ten­nis — There’s a new event in the decathlon added 5 min­utes before you thought you were done –  table ten­nis – a prospect with a con­tract to sign calls with a last minute objection/ nego­ti­a­tion. You must man­age it, nav­i­gate what­ever inter­nal waters it takes to final­ize the paper work and get the sig­na­ture. In the next 3 hours

Com­pe­ti­tion Day 4: Fig­ure Skating

Oh, yes. Today’s the big show. You got an early fun­nel meet­ing – you need to get all of the tech­ni­cal and pre­sen­ta­tion points. To win this round you must win BOTH the com­pul­sories and the Freestyle events:


  • Have pre­pared all week long with your on-site team
  • Have all of their flight/ travel plans and coor­di­nate get­ting them all
  • Make sure they all get break­fast or lunch
  • Insure they all have their slides, tools, roles and a com­plete under­stand­ing of pur­pose of the meeting
  • Arrive at the meet­ing 15 min­utes early and be fully set up and pre­pared before atten­dees show up


  • Stand in front of a bunch of strangers, know what exactly what they want to hear, say it in an effec­tive, con­sul­ta­tive manor
  • Man­age the anti-sponsor so they don’t con­trol, dis­rupt or gen­er­ally screw up your meeting
  • Han­dle 3 objections
  • Lie effec­tively (When it’s OK to Lie 9/28/2009)
  • Iden­tify a coach and lever­age them after the meet­ing for addi­tional intel
  • Leave with next steps and an addi­tional meet­ing planned
  • Get every­one back to the air­port to make their flights while con­duct­ing a debrief ses­sion and assign­ing action items

Sur­prise event! The One Arm Jug­gle -

  • Dur­ing the meet­ing, you get an inter­nal email about some fea­ture or ser­vice that can’t be deliv­ered to the client you closed last month. You must gather all the facts, cre­ate a plan, and man­age the client communication.
  • A prospect calls and needs a final quote by 6 PM tomor­row because the deci­sion com­mit­tee is con­ven­ing early due to someone’s vaca­tion plans.
  • You get a text from your hus­band that kid A is has pic­ture day tomor­row and kid B is sup­posed to make a dio­rama for school. (It’s that thing they make with a scene in shoe box… don’t bother googling.)
  • That night at 9 pm, you get a require­ments doc­u­ment from your coach telling you he needs it by 9 am to edge out some crap your com­peti­tor pro­vided today. It’s only 4 pages long.

Com­pe­ti­tion Day 5: The Final Day Dash

This is it!  The sprint to the week­end and the gold! To win this day:

  • Send all of the fol­low up mate­ri­als to every­one you met with all week.
  • Re-confirm next week’s meetings
  • Update all of your CRM crap
  • Com­plete your call reports
  • Sit through an inter­nal train­ing session
  • Squeeze in a deliv­er­ing birth­day cup­cakes to Kid A’s lunch at the school
  • Use your Fri­day after­noon ( Your Best Weapon  7/6/2209 & Half Time  7/1/2209 ) to do what you don’t want to do while every­one else is run­ning around the yard – make 30 more phone calls

The win­ner is the total of all the judges scores mul­ti­plied by the per­cent­age of quota attain­ment you have by the end of the week
Also, Oprah, side note, and girl favor, if you could….Chicago win­ning this bid is kind of a joke. Unlike Rio which would be a really cool place for the Sales Olympics ….

Though, on sec­ond thought the O’Hare chili’s has a fab buf­falo chicken sand­wich. And the cabs always give you a cou­ple extra receipts for your expense report.

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