Manchester United and the Big Picture

It was our first time going to Old Trafford even though I’ve supported my team since I was 7 years old. But our tickets were miles up in the north east stand and I said to my two boys that we’re not going to able to see much, but at least there’ll be a good atmosphere.

How wrong was I?

Because the stands are virtually vertical, we could see everything just by looking down at the pitch. I saw the defence positions when we were attacking. I saw the away fans in the corner making so much noise. I could see the linesmen running up and down the line and appreciated how complex their role is.

I had the whole scene in front of me. If I’d been watching on TV, yes I would’ve been closer to the play, but I would not know what was going on around the immediate vicinity of the ball and I would be at the behest of the cameraman.

In sales, we do need to have a firm eye on the bigger picture, especially if we want to cross or up sell. I prefer to call this upgrading – it’s far more consumer friendly. By seeing the bigger picture, we can gauge the enormity of the problem the customer is struggling to solve, and see if there are other issues at play. Who makes the decisions, who else is involved?

How do we do this? Like every aspect of selling, it’s about the questions you ask.

  • What’s this a part of?
  • What’s the bigger picture behind this issue?
  • What’s the project that surrounds this?
  • Is this part of a bigger issue?

I never knew that linesmen only run half a pitch. They only occupy one half each and work together to cover the pitch. I always wondered why they were so much quicker than the players.