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August 07, 2019

Every Salesperson Needs to Understand the All Blacks’ Pre-Game Strategy

The team talk has been a fixture for sports teams for decades.

And it’s probably something that you do with your own sales teams. The idea is to get everybody together and impart some final words of encouragement. Your goal is to motivate the team and inspire them to greatness.

In sports, that means victory. And in sales, it means smashing targets and helping the organisation achieve growth.

But here’s an interesting idea.

What if you chose not to use team talks?

That’s the strategy that the All Blacks adopted when Steve Hansen came on board as their coach.

Eliminating the Team Talk

It’s not immediately obvious why Hansen would stop giving team talks. On the surface, it appears like he’s stopping something that has a direct benefit for the team.

However, the tactic starts to make a lot more sense once you understand his philosophy.

Hansen says:

“You get plenty of opportunity as a coach to get in front of the players through the whole week. It's about preparation, clarity and then just getting out there and doing it.”

“These guys don't need to be motivated, they're self-motivated and if they're not self-motivated then they don't make the team”

There’s a simple idea behind this philosophy.

A single conversation before a big occasion isn’t going to inspire long-term behavioural changes.

As a sales leader, that’s what you’re looking to achieve for your team. You want them to overcome limiting beliefs and become motivated players.

That requires constant dedication to teaching on your part and learning on theirs.

A single meeting once per week isn’t going to cut it. The real changes come from the constant dedication to improvement that the All Blacks engage in.

You can adopt the same philosophy for your sales team.