Rugby Seagulling Addition To Your Level-Selling

The pain of seeing a pretty much first choice New Zealand XV edge a not even half strength England this Saturday just gone.

Revenge come the World Cup semi this time next year in Japan?

In the build-up, I noted Kiwi discussion of a current favoured tactic of theirs.

It is where one of their front row (the three broadest and perhaps least mobile individuals) magically appear on the wing to score a try. In precisely the place normally reserved for their most nimble colleagues.

They term this seagulling.

Someone appearing so out of position as to bamboozle their opponents and steamroller themselves to success.

The wiki definition at time of blogging refers to this as slang meaning;

The practice, in Rugby Union, of forwards running in the back line rather than concentrating on their primary positional duties in open play

The play creates a mismatch. So close to the try-line, agility can be doused by raw power.

This made me wonder about the traditional solution selling ploy; a proven winner widely known as both rank- or level-selling.

Where the salesperson manages conversations so that your manager talks with your buying contact’s manager, and continues right through to your overall big boss speaking with their ultimate big boss.

Is seagulling an alternative?

One obvious possibility is when your techie – the one you can just about let out of their darkened underground room – is unleashed upon their buying-side team.

Mismatch generated whenever their trust soars in the eyes of the purchasers. As you alone could never truly disrobe your rose-tinted ‘sales’ tag shackles.

But this has lasted for decades, so is perhaps difficult to re-label with the brazen bird.

There’s also the deliberate anti-peer approach.

I’ve witnessed many a disaster when a room full of bigwigs descend upon a prospect to find a forum with only the janitor. As important a person as they may be, this seldom works out well.

Yet what of when you deliberately introduce someone who’s business card job title suggests a relative underling?

This can work wonders.

I’ve seen the granite features of an immovable senior buyer jellify as they begin to mentor your fresh faced colleague. Admittedly this is more suited to someone with youth and enthusiasm on their side, but can stretch to anyone with a specific, niche even, expertise of relevance to your buyer’s problem resolution.

In a complex sell, the more touch points you have is usually the better for you. Can you replicate the world’s best rugby union side? Have you a potential heavy-hitter that you may be under-utilising right now who could be dropped in somewhere unusual to help get you over that line?

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.