Steal Scores

The absorbing Ladies draw at this year's Wimbledon grass court tennis grand slam tossed up an interesting stat for me, apparently relatively new to the game.

Steal Scores are where you win a point after having been on the defensive earlier in it.

As opposed to points won when attacking; Conversion Scores.

Although there feels an unseen level of subjectivity contained within this labelling, in whatever manner of collation, you can follow that the higher a player's steal scores then the better their chance of overall success.

The Tour 'average' is evidently around 33%. Suggesting you can typically expect to win one in three points during which you've been adjudged as neither holding your own nor attacking.

And so it proves with this year's finalists.

They are the only players beyond the average.

Not just by a little either. In their tournaments, Champion ("Inky", thanks, Mum) Vondrousova and Jabeur hit 37 and 40pc respectively.

I naturally pondered parallels in Solution Selling.

Here's a trio for insight starting points.

What does being on the defensive look like?

Scrambling. On the back foot. Not yet got going.

Can't reach whom you seek. Fielding unexpected, left-field, insistent requests. Hanging in Death Valleys.

What might put you on the defensive?

Not attacking. Too passive, reactive or tentative. Not dictating play.

Misleading perceptions may abound. Uniques feel unmatched to requirement/need. Buying collaboration spurned.

How could you win despite being on the defensive?

Switch things up. Make opponent play (one more shot). Play to strength.

Have your options ready. Know how to set traps (surreptitiously). Follow process.

Beyond this kind of framework, there's an interesting debate around whether such intel is worthy of tracking.

As far as process refinement is concerned, I'd say it is.

As for that magical pattern of events that when set in train practically guarantee you win the business, time and again, the ability to identify anything that helps improve, evolve and iterate it then that ought be at the heart of your selling thinking.

Align to this the fact that should you expose a recurrent deal feature with potential to place you in defensive mode, then forewarned is likely forearmed. And you can take mitigation steps in advance to prevent it from suffering undue pressure later. Or even encourage it, if such tactic helps your response give a decisive tilt in the balance.

I'd also suggest that to uncover for yourself or talk through with others times when you've been forced into retaliatory, repelling or counter actions may well give you pointers already.

And one final point. For the elite tennis pro, attack is twice as likely to win a point as defence. Does the same ring true for you?

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