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Statistically speaking, if a runner is on third base, they have a much better chance of scoring in a baseball game than if they are on first base. I have attached a table of some statistics at the end of this post to further illustrate this point. However, isn’t this concept a matter of common sense? No matter how many outs there are, if you are on third base, you don’t need a chart to tell you it’s more likely you will score than if you are on first, or even second, base.

So why would the CEO of an ad agency write about baseball? It’s because our clients, and even my team, need to think in these terms more often. The biggest problem I see in today’s business culture is “the guy standing on third who thinks he hit a triple.” I heard that quote the other day and it really resonated with me. You see, I have spent nearly 25 years training to “run the bases” properly in order to earn a sale and close a deal. I have, in many other ways, said exactly what I heard the other day, but this one hit me:

“Nothing worse than a guy who is standing on third base and thinks he is the one who hit the triple.”  I broke down the bases into a simple analogy for automotive sales:
First Base – building value with a walk around.  Second Base – doing a demo of the product, which, in this case, is a demo drive.  Third Base – showing the service department and talking warranties.
I have preached this over 1000 times in my life.  “Just like a 12 year old kid who missed touching second base in a little league game, if you did not do the demo drive, your chances of scoring go way down.  Period.”

In that little league game example, as you are rounding third and headed home to score, the umpire will tell you to run back and touch second base because you missed it. In most cases, you will be thrown out and not score at all. In sales, if you rounded third and tried to close a deal without doing a great demo, the customer will ask you to back track and actually do the demo. They want to understand and fall in love with the product a little more, so again, you will probably get thrown out. Skipping second based (the demo) is not the natural progression of a sale and going back to it gives the customer time to feel the pressure of you trying to steal home.  Bottom line: your chances of scoring go down. This is undisputable.

As an agency that drives traffic and opportunities to businesses, we follow the rules of sales. We want you on third base with a customer. We do not want you on third base without first hitting the other bases. We want you in a position to score more easily and more often.  How does this translate into advertising? First, we have to establish what third base is in this case. We have to determine which level of the advertising and sales funnel equates to being on third base with no outs in terms of raising your chances of scoring with a customer.

I will tell you how we gauge this. To us, a lead is third base. As a Google Certified partner and a full service agency that handles both traditional and digital media, we do things a bit differently. It’s easy for many companies like us to get caught up in the metrics and analytics game. If your agency is talking to you about your web sessions, tell them to get off first base. If they move on to conversions and a low bounce rate, tell them to get off second base. You can’t sell a car to a guy who visited your website if you never had his name, number and email to follow up with. Your chances of scoring are horrific and worse than being on first.  That’s like striking out and never even getting on base.

Once you have a customer’s name and contact information, you can take control and set the score. No, you won’t score every time, but you will score more often, and that is the name of the game. At Dealer World, my team concentrates on putting our customers on third base as often as possible. We are the lead off hitter, if you will.

Here are the only ways to count leads that are the equivalent of third base.
A walk in
A phone call
A lead form filled out and submitted
A text lead
Web platform chat

These are your only plays. These are where you can score from. Take the time to evaluate all your marketing—from your ads, both offline and online, to your website and whether or not it is set up to convert. Be sure that all of your efforts are centered around earning the right to be on third base, i.e., getting a lead. I promise, you will sell more, score more and make more money by being the best player on the field.

Just for fun, take a look and you will see it’s all about the percentages of scoring.  Everything you do should be positioning to score.

OutsRunnersExpectedProb > 0CountTotal RunsShutout
0Bases are empty0.490.275377390186702273565
0Runner at 1st0.880.435976848596655235
0Runner at 2nd1.130.633293423313110768
0Runners at 1st & 2nd1.500.63621978328957994
0Runner at 3rd1.370.83753607333871
0Runners at 1st & 3rd1.750.8709845172101284
0Runners at 2nd & 3rd1.980.860557111011781
0Bases are loaded2.370.882523312419617
1Bases are empty0.260.15927027970996227329
1Runner at 1st0.520.2761125215873181420
1Runner at 2nd0.690.414525023622730789
1Runners at 1st & 2nd0.920.425393753603122649
1Runner at 3rd0.960.66718798180206257
1Runners at 1st & 3rd1.170.65319988233486942
1Runners at 2nd & 3rd1.400.68614152198004443
1Bases are loaded1.570.67813474211754339
2bases are empty0.100.06721573521306201378
2Runner at 1st0.230.1281130132546998497
2Runner at 2nd0.330.224646392127550176
2Runners at 1st & 2nd0.440.231504632235838792
2Runner at 3rd0.380.275270061027219583
2Runners at 1st & 3rd0.500.286258261300718447
2Runners at 2nd & 3rd0.610.27715357930411100
2Bases are loaded0.760.321162811233211060



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