July 31, 2015


In NYC today I had the good fortune to meet Luke Rockhold the #1 ranked UFC fighter in the middleweight (185 lbs) division who is a contender for the title against the world champion Chris Weidman.

My 13 year old son is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter champion and boxer. I spoke with Luke about my son's aspirations to eventually compete in MMA, and my concerns about head trauma. He said something quite profound "there are two types of fighters - the Warrior or the Strategist".

The Warrior goes out there and although he/she fight with their heart, they are not concerned with applying strategy.

The Strategist on the other hand, fights using their head. He said to me, "I don't go into a fight to get hit; as you see in my fights, I hardly ever get hit".  Consequently, a strategist will more likely win against the warrior.

This made me think about the people I train in sales. Some people really think about what they are learning and the deep strategy behind it; they apply the knowledge and techniques whereas some others, although well meaning, are still selling like 'warriors'; they are still not evolving and unable to get to the next level. In life, whether it's fighting in the UFC for a world title or meeting your sales targets, it requires a continual focus on knowledge acquisition and application of it.

I was pleasantly surprised by how nice Luke was and forthcoming with his knowledge, his willingness to engage with my son and in fact spar with him. This has changed my mind about how fighters at the top think and behave. It's not just brute force, they are constantly thinking, changing, evolving.

Good luck to you in your future endeavours and we hope you win the title!
July 27, 2015


I just had a meeting with the manager and some of the sales people of a Lexus dealership in Manhattan. The one consistent theme is the issues they have are the same as in Australia and New Zealand. Their competition is just around the corner in New Jersey about 3 miles away. The sales people told me they get customers who play them - get prices from the competition and use it against them.

So one of the essential things is understanding the importance of the first impression and creating a relationship moving away from the fixation on price.

Remember, people, including salespeople, will focus on the easiest variable i.e. the price but will often be sold on the value of the relationship.
July 15, 2015


Today I ran a session on how to overcome resistant clients who won’t meet you or consider your product or service and how we need to understand that most objections are smoke screens. The session was important for a number of reasons as to why sales people often give up at the first objection.

  • What are the realistic expectations of a cold call?

  • What do you expect clients to say if they don’t even know who you are?

  • Many of the clients who you have sold to probably had the same objection but you sold to them, so what did you do that was different?

  • Is it my fear of not saying what is actually on my mind and not communicating that with precision and certainty that is stopping me?

From my point of view the ability to handle and overcome objections is usually based upon our skill level. Do you have the training that teaches you to overcome objections and how much practice do you put into that?

Practice does make you better, professional sports people do it so why don’t you?
July 13, 2015


Earlier this week I met up with Dr Tom Johnson, author of Legends in Black, talking about what has made the All Blacks different to any other rugby team or in fact any team in the world and why they keep evolving and keep ahead of the competition. The impact of collective leadership on the culture along with a willingness to take risks, plays a key role in the All Blacks’ success.

Change, in the real world, equates to risk taking. It does not come naturally to a lot of people. It is the fear of the unknown that stops us from making a change or what we construe as taking a risk. Apply this to the corporate world and to individuals. How many organisations are hamstrung by their leaders who won't try new things? How often would you resist a new idea and not implement it?

Virginia Satir, often referred to as the ‘Mother of Family Therapy’, said the need for familiarity is stronger in people than they realise. An everyday example is people’s choice of music. It is a fact that songs that sound similar to other popular songs will sell more.  Although many people will claim they want to hear something new, but when given a choice, they will often prefer music similar to what they are familiar with.

Back to the All Blacks, their leadership embraces new ideas/change, this is one of the key reasons for their success as a sporting team, time and time again. There is a reason so many teams try to copy them. In fact, several rugby playing nations have a Kiwi as their coach!

Apply this aspect to your everyday life – embrace change, embrace new learnings, be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. Embrace success, the All Blacks’ way!