I meandered around paper sites the other day for a quick sport fix and stayed on this lengthy article, notable for it’s welcome, different approach. Perhaps it’s because it’s written by a woman. An overall decent read, here’s two paragraphs that stood out for me in my occasional quest to take sport best-practice into Selling.

“First the player needs to acknowledge there is an issue and must want to do everything he can to try to improve the situation; this, incredibly, is not always the case, particularly with millionaire performers.”

This is the wisdom of uber-sport-psychologist, Roberto Forzoni. Do you stop to really check whether a salesperson you may be coaching truly thinks an improvement is required? Or do you yourself put up the barriers to your own changes?

Then follows this, promoting the wonders of visualisation;

Visualising, and consequently reliving, past achievements has been seen as a means of provoking individual renaissances ever since the 1970s when Gerd Müller, the West Germany and Bayern Munich striker, popularised such techniques by openly discussing his use of visualisation to end occasional goal droughts.

Lest this may mislead, the visualisation I’ve come across involves playing out in your mind future situations. A classic from the football world involves penalty taking. As it’s impossible to replicate the drama and pressure of a real-match life-changing shoot-out, many coaches believe visualisation is vital preparation.

In sales we are surely remarkably lucky. We too know what our 12-yard spot-kicks are. The most common are the small band of standard objections you face practically every day. Yet how often do we run through them in our head?

When was the last time you closed your eyes and replayed in your mind an objection handle you deployed in a meeting? When did you rehearse overcoming it the next time around, applying something learnt from that last time?

It is also recommended you role-play when travelling to meetings with anyone you can. Typically pre-sales resource or management. But how often does this really happen too?

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