Sales Management: Putting People in Stretch Assignments

by | Mar 18, 2014 | Sales Motiviation

By Jeff Beals

[An excerpt from my sales book, “Selling Saturdays: Blue Chip Sales Tips from Football”]

At one point during his long tenure as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Phillip Fulmer unexpectedly lost one of his assistant coaches to a job in the National Football League. The sudden defection happened right in the middle of recruiting season, which created a hardship for the rest of the coaches left behind. Trying to hire a top-notch assistant coach at that time of year is next to impossible.

As it turned out, the Volunteers had a woman on staff who worked in the academic center. Possessed of a charismatic personality, she had an uncanny ability to relate to people and establish rapport with prospects and their families when they would come to campus for official visits.

Not wanting to be short-handed during college football’s prime selling season, Fulmer turned to the academic center employee and asked her to serve as an interim assistant football coach for seven weeks until he could find a permanent replacement.

“She was a full-fledged coach. She was my ninth coach,” Fulmer said. “You should have seen the looks we got crossing paths with some of the competing coaches as they were coming out of players’ homes and we were going in or vice versa. We must have been turned in five times, but it was perfectly legal. We checked the NCAA rules. She was our coach.”

As head coach, Fulmer assumed the role of Tennessee football’s sales manager, the person responsible for making sure the sales staff was in place, equipped to succeed and motivated to compete. Like all good sales managers, Fulmer had to think quickly on his feet and take immediate, decisive actions to mitigate any threat to the organization’s ability to sell. Sales managers facilitate the sales process and protect the organization’s ability to do deals.

Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to or email at or call us at (402) 637-9300.

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Jeff Beals helps you find better prospects, close more deals and capture greater market share. He is an international award-winning author, sought-after keynote speaker, and accomplished sales consultant. He delivers compelling speeches and sales-training workshops worldwide. He has spoken in 5 countries and 41 states. A frequent media guest, Jeff has been featured in Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, Men’s Health, Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.

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