October 25, 2018



You want to increase your sales and stand out in your field. Learning from the greats is the best place to start. And there’s nobody greater than New Zealand’s national rugby union team.

There’s no question that the All Blacks are the best rugby team in the world. They hold the record for most Rugby World Cup wins. They have a winning record against every nation they ever played.

But did you know that they have the highest winning percentage of all sports teams in the world? This means they’re better at rugby than the Brazilians are at football.

Out of 572 matches, the All Blacks won 443 of them. No other team can compete with this kind of excellence over time.

If you’re like me, you want to know what makes them tick.

Why is this team so much better than all their rivals?

And how do the players handle the massive pressure they’re under? Every single Kiwi relies on them to uphold this amazing legacy. How can you perform well when the stakes are that high?

Success Depends on More Than One Thing

Obviously, the All Blacks have an amazing pool of talent to work with. New Zealand takes rugby seriously, and every kid has the chance to become good enough to represent the country.

It’s no surprise that the All Blacks have a very strict physical training regimen. “No Excuses” is painted on the walls of their gym. Every player takes these words to heart.

They also have access to the experiences and knowledge accumulated over more than a century. New Zealand played its first international test match in 1903. Ever since then, they’ve been a force to be reckoned with.

Talent, dedication, experience.

All of these traits are crucial to success. But they aren’t enough to become truly great.

There are many other factors at play. I want to talk about three fascinating things that make the All Blacks stand out. All of these things together help them dominate the world of team sports.

Secret #1 – No Complacency, Ever

With that kind of history behind you, it’s easy to get overconfident.

This is particularly true after you’ve had some personal wins.

In the All Blacks, every player gets his time to shine. Normally, this leads to inflated egos.

But in this team, everyone is down-to-earth. They all have an impeccable work ethic.

So how do they keep from getting comfortable? Why do they approach every single test match like it’s life or death?

The Positive Effects of Pressure

Every player on the team has to deal with the weight of a nation’s expectations. The coaches are under the same kind of pressure. This creates a unique kind of team unity.

The All Blacks admit to feeling the strain of success. But they don’t let it control them. As a team, they have worked out many different ways to combat stress and nervousness.

When it comes to the everyday grind of training, the pressure is a positive motivator. It also helps them feel alert and prepared to take on every challenge.

For the All Blacks, there is no such thing as an unimportant match. They give it their all every time.

The haka they perform at the beginning of every match shows their determination. Watch their body language the next time they play a test match. They radiate confidence and you can tell they are ready for anything.

The Egalitarian Structure Behind the All Blacks

It’s not surprising that the All Blacks have loads of internal rules. But some of the rules might surprise you.

Did you know that even their star players have to clean up after themselves in the locker rooms? Nobody gets to be late or skip a meeting. The rules apply equally to all the players and even the head coach.

Many other sports teams have a hierarchical structure. Those on top get to boss everyone else around. You don’t get to voice an opinion until you’ve moved up the ranks.

With the All Blacks, nobody gets preferential treatment. If you break the rules, you get replaced.

Why does this make them successful?

When everyone gets treated the same way, nobody has time to grow comfortable. Every team member has to do his job correctly. The same attitude applies to the Baby Blacks and other national union teams.

This approach also helps them keep to the right mindset. No individual player is more important than the whole team. The focus stays on the game rather than on who’s in charge.


How Can You Use This to Increase Your Sales?

If you are really good at your job, complacency is a danger you have to consider.

It’s easy to get used to a single way of doing things. But you can’t achieve greatness unless you keep challenging yourself every day.

To increase your commissions, you need to exceed expectations all the time. So make use of that pressure and let it motivate you. Keep asking yourself whether there’s anything you could be doing differently.

It’s also worth thinking about the structure of your workplace. Are the decision-makers willing to make changes? Or do they tend to stick to established routines?

This is something to keep in mind as you progress in your career.

Secret #2 – Psychology Matters

If you ask any of the All Blacks about his success, he’ll mention all the psychological work that they do as a team. They have a mental skills coach of their own. His name is Gilbert Enoka and he’s done groundbreaking work with the players.

Sports psychology is an important cornerstone of the All Blacks’ success. Other rugby teams have only started to catch on.

Here are a few important tips that we can learn from Enoka.

Keeping Focused on the Now

In a high-pressure situation, it’s easy to lose focus. You might zone out and start thinking about something irrelevant. You may get overwhelmed by the big picture.

This is a serious problem in sports.

But there are exercises that players can do to combat it. Through rigorous work with Enoka, the All Blacks learn how to direct their focus to the game.

Creating Habits

The haka is just one example of the team’s established habits.

They also have a schedule they keep to. Getting enough sleep and eating well is important to them.

Every player has a rigorous routine that he sticks to all the time. Additionally, they all have a number of established habits on the field.

Habits help the All Blacks get into the right mindset for victory.

This also helps them treat every training session as an important game. At the same time, their habits keep them cool even during World Cup matches.


The Value of Downtime

With Enoka’s help, the All Blacks do a great deal of community education. One topic they talk about frequently is mental health. Specifically, they teach young people how to deal with stress.

Their best solution to stress is simple but effective. The All Blacks have scheduled downtime where they put the game aside for a while.

Here’s what Enoka has to say about taking a break: “I have a very deliberate day that actually fills my tank and no matter where I am in the world, I can get access to those things.”

He recommends simple activities such as taking a walk, watching a movie, or going out for coffee. Just focus on what makes you happy. This will help you recharge and do well at your job.

How Can You Use This to Increase Your Sales?

The All Blacks are open about how much Enoka’s work has helped them all. He worked on their emotional intelligence and taught them useful skills.

To become an excellent salesman, you have to increase your ability to focus. Think about the practical and internal habits you have developed. Your routine can help you get through stressful moments.

Take breaks regularly. Don’t neglect your mental health and wellbeing.

Most importantly, you should consider asking for help if you need it.

Would you rather work with a trained professional? Attend a course? Read a book? There are options out there for everyone.

Secret #3 – Change Is Always Worth the Risk

This may be the most important thing about the All Blacks’ approach to the sport.

They aren’t afraid to evolve. Every year, they display something new on the field. Their playing style is creative, passionate, and innovative.

Without innovation, you can’t become truly great. For example, hiring a sports psychologist was unheard of in rugby until the All Blacks decided to do so.

Take Inspiration from Your Defeats

The All Blacks have a proud history of success. But there were a few dark moments in their history.

In the early 00s, the All Blacks played a series of disappointing games. You may remember the binge drinking scandal in 2004. They suffered a crushing defeat against South Africa and came under public scrutiny.

This inspired the team to change.

Today, they are the most disciplined team in this sport. Their ethos is impeccable. You can see their dedication to sportsmanship in every game they play.

The defeat changed their approach to rugby. There was no more drinking, and they hired Enoka soon after. Additionally, they implemented practical changes in their strategy.

Free Exchange of Ideas

Here’s an interesting difference between the All Blacks and European rugby teams.

Instead of focusing on their own clubs, the coaches are all dedicated to the national rugby union. They exchange ideas easily, and there is a lot of cooperation. All Blacks coaches are also happy to share their experiences with other countries’ teams.

This approach makes it easier for creativity to flourish.

How Can You Use This to Increase Your Sales?

To maximize your sales, you have to keep up with the times.

Tried and tested approaches don’t always cut it. You should try new strategies. Experiment with what works best for you.

If you suffer a temporary setback, let it guide you. Some of the best ideas are born as a result of messing up.

Don’t be afraid to listen to advice. It also helps to share your expertise with others. After all, shared tips can be a good way to form new professional connections.

All in all, it helps to stay creative and flexible. The world of sales is fast-paced, and this is the best way to keep up with it.

A Final Word

Let’s go over the main points one more time.

  • Use pressure as a motivator, but don’t let it define you.

  • Don’t grow complacent even after you’ve achieved success.

  • If you need help with the psychological aspect of your job, consider talking to a professional.

  • Work on improving your focus.

  • Create habits that will get you through the workday.

  • Schedule periods of relaxation and use them well.

  • Never stop evolving.

  • Your failures can lead you to better results.

  • Maintain a good working relationship with other salespeople and stay open to new ideas.

It all sounds simple enough, right?

In my experience, your sales depend on how well you can handle pressure. So modelling your approach on the world’s most successful sports team makes sense. If they can handle the stress, so can you.

But it’s not going to be easy.

Most of these changes depend on your willpower. You have to be firm about the decisions that you make.

Always question yourself. Are you getting too comfortable in your current role? Are you maintaining flexibility?

It’s not easy to get started with this kind of personal evolution. However, the results will be worth it.

If you’re interested, why not look into our complimentary training session on the Psychology of Sales?

One of the topics we cover is the emotional roller coaster that comes with this job. Working out how to ride the roller coaster is the key to managing stressful situations. Once you get a grip on that, you can expect a series of wins.