Don't Park The Bus

This has long been a phrase associated with football teams that lack ambition.

When confronted by what they deem superior opponents, they camp out on the edge of their own penalty area, try to snuff out all attacking creativity from the other team, and hope to sneak victory through a counter-attack steal.

In football, like possibly no other sport, the best team does not always win.

Chelsea somehow managed to beat Barcelona and then Bayern Munich to lift the Champions League trophy with this tactic. Then the Euros 2012 saw England in part try to utilise some of this concept. Only to be exposed by penalty shoot-out frailties after being outclassed by Italy.

It was after this mis-match, that I heard a Swedish caller to a radio phone-in say it wasn’t so much ‘park the bus‘ but England had gone one worse. They’d “parked the plane“!

When selling, I occasionally see a team park the bus too. I don’t like it. Why set yourself up to negate a competitor’s strengths? Surely you’re better off playing to your own strengths?

Especially if you’re the incumbent, don’t wait until you’re hemmed in on the edge of your own box, hoping a wild long ball will catch an opposing defender trip over their boots.

We should always be testing. Pushing. Pursuing forward momentum. Our (hopefully wonderful) back office is our defence. The job we should have as salespeople is to check we’re on target. Propose. Close. Monitor effectiveness.

Never parking the bus, or even the plane.

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