Recently I was privileged to attend a complete coaching philosophy session led by the Head Coach of A-League team, Melbourne Victory and his three key assistants.
There were less than a hundred of us eagerly eating cold party pies, waiting for pearls of wisdom on how their magic structures or formations could help our junior footballers suddenly become heroes and in turn claim bragging rights at the pub.
But there were no great insights into the game plans or strategies, rather we got something far more powerful that applies just as strongly to you in winning new business.
Here are the 3 key insights from an elite coaching group and why this will lead to consistent wins in sales.
Motivation Is A Waste Of Time
Head Coach, Kevin Muscat was characteristically blunt when he said there was too much work to do to waste time trying to motivate professionals. If they weren’t self motivated then they wouldn’t be at the club for very long.
When questioned if he would spend time motivating a player who was having a bad run, he said ‘Zero…we would simply get to work on coaching skill or technique’.
Many sales managers have asked me how to motivate a sales person with ‘He’s a good guy – I just can’t get him motivated to do X’. My standard reply is ‘I’m not that good’
If s/he wants to succeed I’ll give them a range of skills, technique and ideas to win business but given s/he gets a six figure salary to turn up, the minimum requirement is desire, adaptability and attitude.
Oh, and don’t waste your budget on listening to speakers who have climbed Mt Everest on one leg after contracting the Ebola virus at base camp. You’ll be filled with admiration but it will last as long as fairy floss and your sales figures next year won’t have increased.
Every Training Session Is At Full Intensity
A source of pride are my LinkedIn recommendations that talk about how challenging the sales/presentation/negotiation training was, yet how excited they are about the results they achieved afterwards.
Melbourne Victory train at full intensity week after week, drill after drill. Everyone is committed to match day intensity because they are consummate professionals who want to win.
When I mention the words ‘Role Play’ or ‘Presentation Rehearsal’ some people look at me as if I’ve just announced that I’ll be attaching electrodes to their testicles and delighting in ramping up the voltage.
That only happens when there’s access to off peak electricity rates and is highly conditional on whether or not I had an argument with my wife that morning.
The real professionals ask for more air time, more critique, more feedback. Instead of saying ‘I’m much better than this in front of a client’, they say ‘Make me better so I can win more business at C Level, win more deals and make more money.
Can you imagine a footballer saying ‘I pass much better in a match than I do at training, so I’ll grab a coffee and sit this one out if you don’t mind , coach’
The Strategy Doesn’t Change Much
Whilst the team structure is tweaked slightly week to week, depending on the opposition they’re playing, the core strategy, positional play and tactics don’t change much.
The reason for this is that the game strategy is set by the coaches in the pre-season, well before a match is played.
Everyone understands the ‘way we go about about winning’ so if a player is injured or gets sold for megabucks mid season. someone else can simply slot in, adhere to the well drilled strategy and play their role.
There are a lot of sales people and managers who change their strategy more often than they dry clean their favourite suit.
End of quarter pressures, product mix issues, bonus incentives and perceptions of different markets often lead people to change tactics dramatically half way through a ‘sales season’.
Existing sales people get thrown out of whack, clients get confused, new sales people are uncertain and inconsistency in wins creeps in because the whole team ( including pre-sales, marketing, service and support) is playing differently every week.
Some people like to call this flexibility.
I call it ‘ad-hoc adventures into the unknown’.
Elite sport is a multi-million dollar operation run by elite coaching methods.
Elite Selling should be no different.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can win business selling to C Level join me in the Salient Executive Level Selling Program in October 2014 click HERE
As CEO of Salient Communication, Elliot is a sought after keynote speaker and corporate trainer who has coached and trained over 4000 people including CEOs, senior management and successful sales teams throughout Australasia and Asia including Hong Kong and Singapore.
Elliot is a specialist sales speaker for high profile corporates having spoken at over 1500 conferences, workshops and break-out sessions on presenting, selling, negotiating and pitching for leading companies such as HP, SEEK, Avaya, Hitachi , Computershare and CUB.
He is renowned for ensuring sessions are engaging, interactive and relevant to winning business in competitive markets.
Elliot is based in Melbourne where he lives with his wife and two expensive children