The handoff only works with a ready player.

You can be a great quarterback, with a powerful throwing arm, keen vision to spot the plays on both sides of the field, and the strategic insight to create results with a team effort.

No matter how much preparation you invest, the true test of a winner is what happens on the field—where performance delivers results.

So, let me share a story here.

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A football coach invested considerable time in training Jake, a running back whom the coach believed showed potential. Coach was confident he could cultivate Jake into a strong contributor to the team’s offense.

Coach taught Jake the game strategy. He worked with him on the skills a running back needs, like finding that small opening and pushing ahead through a force field of defenders blocking the way. When he felt Jake was ready, he put him in his first game. The opposing team had a notoriously aggressive defense, so Coach told Jake to be ready. Coach told the quarterback to give the ball to Jeff.

He watched from the sidelines as, on the first play, the quarterback seemingly handed the ball to Jake. Then, the quarterback tucked the ball and ran with it himself. He didn’t get far, just a yard or two, as the defense barreled through and sacked him.

Frustrated, Coach yelled into his headset which was connected to the quarterback, “Give the ball to Jake!”

Again, the quarterback faked the handoff, held on to the ball, and stepped back, looking for a receiver so he could pass the ball. Again, he went down, losing even more yardage.

At fourth and sixteen, the offense walked off the field, dejected, as the punter headed out to kick the ball back to the opponents.

Coach grabbed his quarterback, pulled him aside, and said, “I told you over and over to hand off to Jake, but you kept the ball every time. What’s up?”

The quarterback replied, “Coach…Jake says he doesn’t want the ball.”

Never hand the ball to someone who does not want to run with it. If you have somebody on your sales team who shows reluctance or fear, hand that scoring opportunity instead to someone else who can and will make forward progress. Coach your players, cultivate.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

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