You may have come across some new research recently, which compares the psychological attributes of both sports winners and business winners. The research offers some valuable advice for resellers in terms of broader best business practice. There is definitely a sporting competitive element to any sales process, but to be a true ‘winner’ in the reseller world, what more does it take?
The research involved interviewing a representative sample of senior UK executives, as well as members of the Great Britain (GB) Olympic rowing squad and high-flying graduates. It looked at various attributes spanning from self-belief and attitude, to preparation, superstition and attitude, to sleep.
The survey showed self-belief to be the second most highly regarded key to success. More than half (54 per cent) of chief executives regard preparation as a key element to achieving success at work, but 72 per cent say they are giving top-class performances without thorough preparation, indicating that many are sailing rather close to the wind.
Conversely, 84 per cent of rowers regard preparation as a key priority, but just over half (51 per cent) believe they deliver top-class performances without preparation.
However, both sets of results indicate that both business and sports people are not performing as well as they could and that over confidence is often confused as self-belief.
Another area the report focuses on is teamwork. The results show that business winners recognise the importance of motivating and having the support of a great team; they see themselves leading from the front and are fiercely independent. Top rowers in the GB team, on the other hand, value true interdependence, where the winning factor is the team and not any one player in it.
One of the most crucial components of a winner is preparation. The UK has a national culture of relying on natural talent, ‘rising to the occasion’ and ‘England Expects!’, which may ring true for some sales people on the eve of a pitch.
However, sports people recognise the need to prioritise preparation (49 per cent) far more than business people (28 per cent). Being a winner is not simply about producing one great performance, but is the art of producing great performances time after time.
Business evidently shows a major gap in detailed ‘what-if’ planning, which is a much more ingrained process in sporting preparation.
Top sports people stand out as massive risk takers (72 per cent), but crucially this is linked to their culture of preparation, which means that they are aware of the risks they face in any game or competition and know that some risk taking will be necessary to gain the slim advantage that needed to win.
For resellers, we are all aware of the importance of preparation. Knowing your specific market place and customers is of the utmost importance and the best way to ensure this is to prepare fully.
So what can resellers and their sales teams take away from this research? It has been proven that winners in both business and in sport need to have robust self-belief, recognise the value of teamwork, enthusiastically learn from mistakes and – most importantly – do proper preparation for consistent winning performances.
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