The Home Court advantage. Are you using it to make sales?

The Home Court advantage. Are you using it to make sales?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The average professional sports team wins more than 75% of the games they play on their home court. That’s a pretty high winning percentage.

If you knew you could win 75% of the prospects you pitched, you’d do it, wouldn’t you? YOU CAN! Sales games are no different than sports games. You win more sales when you sell them at home.

How many of your prospects, who you want to become customers, get an invitation to play the championship game (the sale) at your ball park? Why not try to get qualified people to make a memorable visit to your place of business for a tour, some great food, meet your team, and a sale.

There are compelling reasons for not selling at your prospect’s place of business (the opponent’s home court):

  • The odds are against you they win home games 75% of the time.
  • The atmosphere is controlled by someone else and all the distractions and interruptions that go with it.
  • There is only one of you there are many of them.
  • You only have the selling resources and tools you brought with you the rest of them are back at your ball park, with the rest of your team.

Your strategy should be to make the preliminary call at the prospect’s place of business. Then, invite the prospect to your place of business, so that you can convert them into a customer.

Your home court (office) has significant advantages:

  • It is a confidence builder.
  • Your whole team is there.
  • All your tools are there.
  • You have complete control.
  • The customer has a better feel for doing business with you.

In order for you to get the maximum benefit from this concept, you must make (and execute) a plan to convert your office or place of business into a closing machine. Here are the elements of the plan:

  • The goals and objectives What do you want to happen, and when do you want it to happen? Write out exactly what you want to take place in the meeting.
  • The welcome How the prospect will be greeted sets the tone for the time they’re with you.
  • The information agenda What will you say to the prospect and when will you say it?
  • The interpersonal agenda Who will the prospect meet and when will they meet them?
  • The food What will you serve that the prospect will remember you by?
  • The deal What will you propose and when will you propose it?
  • The close When is the best time to seal the deal, and how will you seal it?

There are 10.5 things you can do to make sure the scales are tipped as far as they can in your favor when you sell at home:

  1. Make the welcome personalized, sincere and special. Get off on the right foot by impressing the prospect with her name on a sign board, a banner, a gift, an agenda, a menu something extra special.
  2. Make the visit memorable by attending to large and small details. Have your people advised of the prospect’s name and make a special effort to have everyone call him by it. Minimize or eliminate interruptions.
  3. Have the entire meeting orchestrated. Have everything to be demonstrated or shown ready to go. Have a special reason to “do it now because the deal looks so good.” Show the prospect you value his time by not wasting any of it. Be prepared. Have papers and the essence of the deal at your fingertips.
  4. Have your business look busy. People want to do business with successful people. Look successful. Look busy.
  5. Be business hospitable. Show your prospect where phones are available for her to make calls. Give her a desk or privacy if needed.
  6. Make the prospect feel important. Have everyone who walks by stop and say hello.
  7. Introduce the prospect to the people they’ll be working with. Everyone from to the receptionist to the shipping clerk.
  8. Have a Wall of Fame. Show your prospect letters from satisfied customers that hang on your walls.
  9. Arrange a meeting with the president of your company. Not just a “hello, how are you,” but a meaningful dialog that adds impact to your presentation.
  10. If you serve food (and you should), make it the best that money can buy. The quality of the food you serve reflects the quality of your company. If you think you’re the greatest serve the greatest food.

10.5 Have the prospect or customer prepared to buy. Do as much preliminary sales work as possible so that you can spend an equal amount of time having fun as selling.

NOTE WELL: If you and your company have to “fake it” when a prospect visits, something is wrong with the everyday running of your business. This exercise is an opportunity to see the benefit of being your best all the time.

NOTE VERY WELL: Make sure the all the people who make the buying decision are on the visit, or you won’t make the sale no matter how great you are.

When a prospect or customer visits your place of business:

  • You have a chance to be memorable.
  • You have a chance to eliminate competition.
  • You have your best chance to make a sale.

Every sports team wishes they could play every game on their home court. When you’re trying to make a sale, so should you. Play more games at home.