Sports Psychology Lessons

Businessmen have long sought the wisdom of successful sporting greats, yet I just came across a fella that advises sports teams through business principles called Humphrey Walters.  What grabbed my attention was his attachment to England’s glorious 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph.  Anyone that’s also seen the Lions video (‘living with lions’) documenting their awesome 97 S Africa triumph should know business principles can apply to sports team building.

This aforementioned article emphasises 6 points.  Although most readers will doubtless recognise each point as it’s read, I’m sure at least one will jolt an idea for improvement, so from a sales perspective, they can benefit as follows:

  1. Ruthless Simplicity – How can you make it unbelievably easy for your prospects to understand/buy/engage?
  2. ‘No Idea’s Too Stupid’ – Here’s a phrase uttered by my first ever boss in a meeting convened with the software sales team in the early 90s.  He was after ideas for easier new business generation from us.  One guy (Colin Harris) suggested reducing the annual maintenance fees (known as ‘resolve’).  The exact response? (Verbatim for authenticity;) ‘That’s a fucking stupid idea”! Asking prospects for any idea can help.
  3. By The Inch – Essentially breaking down each element into bite sized chunks too make the target less daunting and improvements easier to visualise
  4. Outside Stimuli – Admit an ideas meltdown and seek inspiration from elsewhere
  5. Manage Fear – Everyone can be frightened, so work out how to work within it – a ‘miss the stone’ anacdote is given about uber-kicker Jonny only focusing on the gap, rather than the posts, to make the ball sail over
  6. Think In Ink – Write your dreams down, and they have an uncanny knack of turning out.  Or perhaps, produce a buying plan doc with your prospect allies and see it happen.

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