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Monday, May. 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm

How to Score Runs (Conversions) Like “Charlie Hustle”

By Bryan Eisenberg
May 4th, 2009

When you convert a visitor to a sale or to a lead, hopefully you have scored a run your competitor won’t. Pete Rose liked to say “Somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose.”

Pete received the nick name “Charlie Hustle” for his unique playing style. He may not have been the athlete with the most talent but he worked harder than anyone. Even when being walked, Rose would sprint to first base, instead of the traditional trot to the base. Rose was known for sliding headfirst into a base, his signature move. He played his heart out and would do anything to score runs on the board. Pete understands what it takes to be a winner. Some of his accomplishments:

Major League records:

  • Most career hits – 4,256
  • Most career games played – 3,562
  • Most career at bats – 14,053
  • Most career singles – 3,215
  • Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2,165
  • Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1,566
  • Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752
  • Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10
  • Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23
  • Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968-1980)
  • Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17
  • Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17
  • Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23
  • Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972
  • Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)

Businesses and especially marketers love the excitement of the home run. Hitting the long ball is definitely one way to win ball games. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael M. Lewis, published in 2003, looks at the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager, Billy Beane. Its focus is the team’s modernized, analytical approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland’s disadvantaged revenue situation.

Rigorous statistical analysis had demonstrated that on base percentage and slugging percentage are better indicators of offensive success, and the A’s became convinced that these qualities were cheaper to obtain on the open market than more historically valued qualities such as speed and contact. I think the same is true today in online marketing. It is not about having the greatest creative talents and who can hit the most home runs but who has the ability to keep moving runners to the next base. This is about consistent, and persistent execution.

In a decade of helping companies improve their marketing and increase their conversion rate, one of the key characteristics that determines success is the ability and speed of execution. It is better to get some thing up and out the door even if it is flawed (and it always will be) than to wait and deliberate and evaluate to consider doing something. You can win games even if your are less innovative, less powerful and less talented just by mastering the hustle.

Get things done. Optimize later.

In fact, 80% of OnTarget clients who executed at least half of their recommendations got a conversion lift in their first 60 days.

So which organization would you rather have, a team of high paid superstars who don’t deliver consistently, or a bunch of charlie hustles?

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Comments (11)

  1. Hi Bryan,

    couldn’t agree more.

    The “tortoise and Hare” fable springs to mind, and also “no silver bullets” analogy.

    Gene Hackman also made a film along these lines called “Hoosiers” (Great film, but I still have no idea what the title means.)

  2. I think you are correct when you say at least get something done. Just getting something done is more than many people accomplish. Also, a bunch of small steps in the right direction does add up in time.

    Thanks for your insights Brian.

  3. I’m a big baseball guy and love the Moneyball analogy – I think it’s a must read for everyone in optimization/online

  4. Great post. I always tell my team “ideas are free,we get paid to execute.” It doesn’t matter how great the idea is, if it isn’t implemented, it’s worthless.

  5. I don’t want a “Charlie Hustle” if he’s going to end up signing his websites, “I’m sorry I cheated on SEO.” like I saw Pete Rose doing at Ceasar’s Palace in Vegas in ’07: “I’m sorry I bet on baseball.” Sometimes those who “would do anything to score runs on the board” are not the best people!

  6. Rose did bet on baseball and has paid the price dearly! But as a player he was unlike any other, and if I was starting a team, he would be the first I would call. There are many reasons to not like him, and many to like him, but I don’t fault him for the love of the game, and signing balls at a show is his only way to stay in touch with fans. Love him or hate, he is human and has paid for his mistakes, more so than I personally feel he deserved.

  7. Hard work, focus on the fundamentals, execution and integrity … same recipe for success in any profession.

    I also like the persepctive that Malcom Gladwell brings up in “Outliers” regarding undirected and untapped talent.

  8. What a nice comparison between baseball and business.

    I do not know the guy (I am not the States) – but I can surely learn something from him.

  9. i totally agree you!
    Hard work, focusing on the fundamentals make you successful

  10. I don’t fault him for the love of the game, and signing balls at a show is his only way to stay in touch with fans. Love him or hate, he is human and has paid for his mistakes, more so than I personally feel he deserved.

  11. It’s all about position and desire, which is why pete was so successful, he was so driven in every aspect.

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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