Are You Just A Perimeter Player?


In sports like hockey, football and basketball, certain athletes get tagged with the name “perimeter player”. They mainly shoot from the outside, or in the case of football, only catch the ball near the sidelines. They play it safe, and stay away from the “dirty” dangerous areas. They can still score from the outside, but are missing other opportunities to score.

In sales, most well-adjusted reps have the ability to:

  • Sell more products to their most satisfied customers
  • Sell to a prospect who has all but pulled out a purchase order number and said “I’m buying!”
  • Take over and succeed in a territory that is already on “auto-pilot”

That would be described as perimeter play.

What about getting in to the “dirty”, dangerous areas?

These reps have the ability to:

  • Put together action plans and succeed in getting struggling accounts back on track
  • Get in front of dissatisfied customers, and fix problems face-to-face
  • Make difficult decisions to drop underperforming accounts that will never thrive
  • Succeed in spite of lack of leadership and never make excuses

My favourite analogy for this type of work is always related to hockey,

“Who is willing to go in to the corner, get hit by a bigger player, and still come out with the puck?”

The perimeter players, will let up, and watch somebody else complete the difficult tasks.

The perimeter players may still have a long career, but be just average. If you are looking for average, then you must be ok playing it safe. The repeated overachiever, who is always looking to improve never hesitates and welcomes the difficult tasks on route to massive success!

The questions are:

How badly do you want it?


How “dangerous” are you willing to be?

Only you will know the answer. It’s your choice!


About Tim Mushey

Dynamic and energized sales rep, mentor and leader since 1999. This blog will be about sales, social networking, personal branding, leadership, music and having some laughs! Don’t be surprised if I mix it up on occasion, and talk about something totally different! I thrive on being part of successful, forward thinking teams. I am ready to go from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning, with the expectation that new adventures will be coming my way. It is rare that there isn't a smile on my face, as I take it all in, and have some fun along the way!

Posted on December 10, 2014, in Motivation, Sales, Sports Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Great analogy Tim! There are times while playing basketball I catch myself taking too many shots and have to make a conscious effort to take the ball to the basket. Recognizing our shortcomings, or misdirected focus can often be difficult; but rewarding when we make a change.

    • Hey Chris! Great to see you have recognized this issue with respect to your own basketball game! It is very rewarding when we recognize our shortcomings and finally take a leap of faith and change! Have an awesome Thursday….

  2. Excellent post Tim, I think we all do better when we look forward to tackling the tough tasks.

    • You bet we do Tina! It is too easy to avoid them, but at the end of the day, completing the tough tasks will help us achieve our goals sooner! Have a great Thursday…

  3. If you want the big reward, you absolutely must do the hard work – keep up the fine job Moosh!!

  4. Thanks for stopping by over at WordPress recommended I check out this particular blog post and they were right! This a great post indeed, I do find myself playing it safe at work, you’re always afraid you’ll get hit and still not get the puck. I’ll try to be a little more fearless today because average is not what I want to be. Have a great day!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by to comment on this post! Glad I have inspired you today to be less fearless and escape the average! Looking forward to checking out your blog after work today! Have an awesome Thursday and thanks again…

  5. Great post again. Reading through this made me look into myself and makes me realize that “most of the time” I am that Perimeter Player (I hate to admit that). Having said that, it also motivates me to be to push myself a little harder into unexplored potentials I have.

    • Hey Lipok! Wow thanks for stopping by. Great to see you here. Take the positives about your admission. It is great to acknowledge that and now move forward and get in to more “difficult areas” to achieve success! I am so glad the post resonated with you. I have played hockey since I was a kid, and this post was inspired by how I play the game, and live my life – work your butt off, and go where few would go. Thanks again!

  6. Great post! Its funny how many sales people are “perimeter players”, only looking for the low hanging fruit or easy sale. If as a sales person you are going to be successful, sometimes you have to take the risk, go into the corners, and get a little dirty. I say Go Big or Go Home!

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