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Practice Management > Building Your Business

What’s your warm-up for a presentation?

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While in Boston on a recent vacation, my wife and I decided to take in a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. We arrived early and sat down to watch the two starting pitchers (Joe Kelly for Boston and Collin McHugh for Houston) warming up.

Kelly spent his time stretching and limbering up before throwing. Then he stood about 60 feet away from his catcher and threw several dozen pitches—a fairly average warm-up, I’d say.

McHugh took a different approach. He started about 40 feet away from his catcher and threw easy pitches into the strike zone. After each throw, he moved back a step or two and soon he was throwing from the standard 60-foot distance. However, he didn’t stop there.

He kept moving backward and eventually ended up something like 100 feet away from his catcher. That meant he had to throw harder and faster to reach his target. And he did! I was impressed by how accurate his throws were from that great a distance.

His warm-up intrigued me because I knew that after pitching the ball more than 100 feet, the 60-foot distance he would have to throw during the game would seem easy by comparison. (Houston went on to win the game 8-1.)

Watching McHugh’s routine got me thinking about warm-up routines in the game of sales. An effective warm-up can make the difference between a deal and a “no sale.” If we go into an important sales conversation without having properly prepared or warmed up first, we run the risk of making a mistake and losing that opportunity.

So, what do you do to warm up before a sales call, meeting or presentation? What actions do you work through to ensure you’re fully prepared? What mental preparation do you undergo before an important call? Think about the ways you might be able to prepare for your next meeting, so that you go in with your game face on.

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Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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