Tiger, AJ & Liverpool FC:
What drives Superstars and can it work for you?
Sales success and sporting success have many parallels that separate the highest and lowest performers. One difference is sports people train and develop themselves for much more time than they actually “perform for real”; whilst sales people are performing 5 days a week with less time to dedicate to honing their skills.
One huge shared theme is the importance of mental strength, relentless focus and a big reason to strive for success. Here are 3 examples – relating to the experienced sales pro, the solid performer and the new kids into sales – that can inspire you to succeed.
So, what motivates both elite athletes and sales professionals to do what they do and to keep on doing it? WINNING…...of course! Ultimately the aim of any super athlete or super sales professional is to win and keep winning for as long as possible. Although when trying to win, both can be faced with one of two mind sets: either the rush of adrenaline and excitement of the win; or the fear of failure, blowing the lead or making mistakes.
On Sunday, 42-year-old Tiger Woods won his 80th PGA tour. His first win for 5 years! An incredible come back into professional golf. Woods has had many comebacks before from knee and back operations, death of his father and very public scandals. But this return comes after his longest absence from the sport. He sat on 79 PGA titles for 5 years and spent around 2 years pretty much in bed not being able to do much.
Four times Masters tournament winner. Three times US open & British Open winner and four times PGA championship winner. Woods is also the 16th highest paid athlete in the world. So why does he need to make a golf comeback when he has already achieved so much? Woods has asserted that he didn’t want his two children to only know Dad as a “YouTube” golfer.
Tiger has gone from a place of not being able to get out of bed and with the likely reality that his competitive golfing time had come to an end, to a now much more positive and exciting situation that he his swinging some of his best swings. He genuinely loves playing golf but most of all, but ultimately the feeling of winning competitions is what drives Woods to keep doing what he does.
Are you a seasoned sales professional that needs a reason to get your mojo back and on focus on the next big challenge? Or do you just simply need to remember how to win again?
“Days when you just don’t have it, you don’t pack in, you give it everything you’ve got. You grind it out!”
Woods last tournament was in August 2013 – a month before Anthony Joshua turned pro after he won an Olympic gold medal at London 2012; then going onto become IBF, WBO & WBA world heavyweight champion. In the same weekend as Tiger’s 80th PGA win Anthony Joshua embarked on “Chapter 2” of his boxing career, as the 28-year-old knocked out Alexander Povetkin. AJ has been boxing for 10 years and up until this fight he says he has done it ‘for fun’ but now he is dead serious as he looks ahead to the next ten years of building a legacy.
Managing your career isn’t just a nice thing to do it’s an absolute must do! Even if you’re just a couple of years into your sales career and you’ve had decent amount of success, managing and developing your career will give you the momentum you need to start your next chapter. Those that know what they want from their career and work hard towards it, are usually the most successful.
“You can never catch perfection, but you can always continue to improve”
Winning that first match, trophy or sales pitch is always the most difficult one to win. If winning becomes a habit, then so too can getting beat. It could be seen as ‘just one of things’ but could also mature into a psychological block. The longer that goes on, the greater the pressure. This is the current situation with Liverpool FC and their manager Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool haven’t won the league since 1990 and Reds boss Klopp has suffered 3 defeats in 3 finals - so close yet so far! After a summer of record spending - £170million on talent – Liverpool should now have all the tools they require to secure a title. And Klopp, now 3 years into his role at Liverpool will be wanting some silverware and perhaps getting a little nervous? Currently sitting top of the league with 6 wins from 6, the dream could be starting to come true.
It’s common at the start of your career to have false dawns or 2nd places, but what do you do to keep motivated, to keep developing your skills and keep striving to secure that first win or title? In the instance of Klopp at Liverpool, he has created a culture whereby he inspires those players to play for the love of the game itself and not just for the trophy………. passion! Keep striving for the small wins which allow you to make progress and be motivated towards that larger goal!
“You have to feel a defeat. You cannot say ‘I don’t care, it’s not important’…You always have to strike back…only silly idiots stay on the floor and wait for the next defeat. Of course, we will strike back – 100%”
The most successful athletes possess the same attributes as talented sales professionals – strong work ethic, exceptional focus and the ability to adapt. Elite athletes and sales professionals are navigating a highly competitive landscape, and both have a strong desire to win. Whichever stage of your sales career; experienced sales professional, embarking on a new chapter or new to the field; the common desire is of winning and maintaining that laser focus day in day out to get that next win.
“The greatest thing about tomorrow is I will be better than I am today” Tiger Woods
You are a busy person and have spent 5 minutes reading this blog, well done!!...but now consider for 2 minutes, what are you going to do next that moves you towards your next “win”? Call us....