An entertaining S African in-flight mag article tickled my attention for discussing how the label “chokers” became attached to the country’s cricketers.
A sport psychologist named Henning Gericke was called upon to share his successful work with the rugby World Cup winning Boks in the hope of showing the cricket team how to break its shackles. Three elements are readily applicable to sales campaigns.
Rehearse Pressurised Success
He advocates fostering tension in training. The more unbearable the pressure, the more likely you are to get used to it and respond positively to it in the field. How depressingly few are the sales teams that truly prepare for sales calls in such a way?
Drop Tentative Mentality
If everyone tells you that you’re a loser, you’ll become that loser. Change the atmosphere of having to play safe, to becoming fearless. From thinking of ‘this one we mustn’t lose’, progress instead to ‘this one, we win’.
His final tip was one I’ve covered before in my sporting parallels. This example is intriguing for its detail though. Before the 2007 (winning) rugby final, he gave each player a picture of their previous winning captain (from 1995) lifting the trophy. His trick was to replace that person’s face (Francois Pienaar) with that of each of the 2007 players. This was so that they could each picture ultimate success.