What can Joe Mauer teach us about sales?

14 Nov


Very little.

This month, Joe Mauer, long term Minnesota Twin, announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. On Monday, I listened to Joe’s news conference where he emotionally discussed his retirement for over 30 minutes. I wondered where in the heck this Joe has always been…

I grew up here in Minnesota with the luck of watching my Twins capture World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. We had Kirby Puckett, a passionate, joyful character that always made me giggle; Bert Blyleven, who kept levity around the Twin’s clubhouse with almost daily pranks; Kent Hrbek, who was almost as hilarious as Blyleven… and Minnesota had Jack Morris for one year, who was as fiery as any competitor and won game 7 of the 1991 World Series pitching 10 innings. We had great personalities and players full of emotion.

Many years later in 2004, the Twins had a new star catcher named Joe Mauer as a rookie… Joe’s first 5-7 years with the Twins were unbelievable and he clearly looked to be headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 2010, he signed a record $184 million 8-year contract. In the following years, Joe Mauer had a major concussion and a number of frustrating injuries. In 2014, the Twins moved Joe to first base and he was never the same player again. Like many Minnesota fans, I began to lose faith in him. He was expensive, often injured and very average from that point forward at first base.

The real reason why I’ll never look at Joe in the same light as the aforementioned Kirby, Bert, Kent and Jack is because Joe seemed to lack any of the passion we saw from my World Series favorites. In interviews, Joe gave short answers in a monotone voice and in general was very close-lipped. Joe was boring. He was a good man and ball player… but extremely boring.

I always talk about authenticity in connection with others in sales. You can overcome many flaws if you have an engaging personality and approach people with the genuine ‘you’.

Joe never seemed genuine to me… until I listened to his press conference. Joe teared up many times as he spoke; he was verbose, and I might dare say loquacious, even. He was open in his press conference and forthright in his responses to questions. Joe seemed REAL for the first time in a long time (or ever). I wish we could have had this Joe Mauer over the last 14 years. I wish we could have seen his real personality as a player. If I’d heard him speak from the heart, I would have been much less disappointed in his average play and more sympathetic regarding his multiple injuries.

I never would have hired Joe for a sales position, but after this new glimpse into the life of Joe Mauer, I’m going to give him a call and see if I can get him to sell for Blue Octopus.

It’s time to grow faster~
Drew Schmitz

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