Wood Bats vs. Aluminum Bats: A Business Metaphor

A thought occurred to me on the BART ride home today.

As part of my job, I cold-call businesses.  It’s tough work, but gratifying, and I generally like the challenge.  I’ve been struggling lately, though, letting my nerves affect me and having a hard time focusing.

However, I turned a corner today, which lead to an epiphany.

We generally call two types of leads.  As we sell an Internet-based service, a good chunk of our calls are simply to companies listed in Google Maps– 10-box leads, as we call them.  A smaller percentage of our leads are people enrolled in Pay-Per-Click campaigns.  At first, I only called PPC leads, and I hit my stride somewhere around my fourth week, setting up nine trials.  Since then, I’ve mostly called 10-box leads and my numbers have been drastically lower.  My boss clued in on this this morning and instructed me to start calling the PPC leads again.  Right away, my numbers jumped.

Here’s what I learned: Calling on 10-Box leads is like trying to hit a baseball with a wood bat, while calling a PPC lead is like hitting with a metal one.  Pros may be able to hit with the wood bats, but I’m still learning on this job.  I can hit farther with aluminum.

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