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April 01, 2024

What’s your DNA?

Over the weekend while in Auckland I went to the Super Rugby match between the Auckland Blues vs the Canterbury Crusaders.

Watching the two sides especially in the first half try and get on top of each other is a fascinating lesson for salespeople.

What’s the lesson?
Well they both play a different style of rugby and have different strengths.
They don’t panic if things aren’t going well, they stick to their strengths.

One of the biggest problems for salespeople is most of them don’t know their true strengths and panic when things become difficult.

For example you don’t see the All Blacks trying to play like England. Another example you don’t see Federer play like Rafa Nadal when things become difficult.

If you want to reach your goals you need to know what drives you psychologically, especially when under pressure.

Download the eBook and I guarantee you’ll get some answers to your problems.
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March 27, 2024

The All Blacks’ Pre-Game Strategy

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.
Schedule a call with my team today!
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February 26, 2024

3 All Blacks Secrets to Double Your Commissions

Dominating your field, consistently exceeding expectations, and leaving a lasting impact – these are aspirations shared by salespeople and the legendary All Blacks alike. While rugby and sales seem worlds apart, the All Blacks' winning formula holds valuable lessons for any sales professional aiming to double or even triple their commissions.


Let's unpack 3 key strategies these champions leverage and translate them into practical tools for your sales game:


1. The Power of Collaboration. The pre-match Haka isn't just a war cry; it's a powerful display of collective strength. The All Blacks understand that individual brilliance thrives within a supportive team environment. Translate this: foster a collaborative spirit within your sales force. Share best practices openly, celebrate individual and team wins, and create a space where everyone feels empowered to contribute. Remember, a united sales force is a force to be reckoned with.


2. Turning Setbacks into Stepping Stones. "Ka Mate Ka Ora" – the final chant of the Haka – translates to "I die, I live." This mantra embodies the All Blacks' unwavering resilience. They understand that setbacks are inevitable, but they choose to learn, adapt, and come back stronger. Apply this to your sales journey: view rejections not as roadblocks, but as opportunities to refine your approach. Develop mental fortitude, bounce back quickly from setbacks, and approach each lead with renewed determination.


3. Build Trust Through Authentic Connection. In Maori culture, "Whanaungatanga" emphasizes building meaningful relationships. The All Blacks go beyond simply understanding their opponents' strengths; they invest in genuine connection, even learning their language. This focus on building trust translates seamlessly to the sales world. Ditch the pushy tactics and prioritize active listening. Understand your prospects' needs, tailor your approach to build rapport, and demonstrate genuine interest in their success. People buy from those they trust, not just from the most aggressive salesperson.


Bonus Tip: Leave a Legacy, Not Just Leads. The All Blacks' excellence transcends individual performance; they carry the weight of a proud legacy. They understand they represent their nation, their ancestors, and future generations. Translate this to your own impact: what legacy do you want to leave in your sales career? What positive impact do you want to make on your clients, your team, and your company? Let this purpose fuel your drive and commitment to excellence.


Remember, these are just starting points. Experiment, adapt, and discover what resonates most with your unique style and approach. Now go forth, channel your inner All Black, and dominate your sales game like a true champion.

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January 25, 2024

What Drives Highly Motivated Individuals?

There is so much training focused on motivational hype which again, is of no value unless you know the person’s motivators!

This is where focused development of individuals is crucial to their (and your!) success.

It takes a multi-dimensional approach and time, to hire and then develop the right people. The rewards in the long run far outweigh the patience and time investment.

This is the same methodology used by high performance sports teams who do well consistently over long periods, such as the All Blacks, Golden State Warriors and the past Australian Cricket teams.

When we examine these traits in the highly motivated individual there is little need for motivational training as their desire to improve is what drives them, yet most principals see the lack of motivation in their people as the key issue to be fixed.

The problems that are occurring with salespeople are often repeating patterns. There will always be frustration and stress before awareness develops.

The real issue is perhaps the principals have the wrong people and are hoping motivational training will somehow overcome low productivity, which is a temporary fix, at best.

In the words of Jim Collins, “Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off.”

I would add stop hiring the wrong people in the first place.
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January 22, 2024

Take Inspiration from Your Defeats

The All Blacks, titans of rugby, are synonymous with dominance. Yet, even their legendary journey wasn't paved solely with victories. The early 2000s witnessed a period of unexpected struggle, a dark cloud casting its shadow over the team's iconic haka. Binge-drinking scandals, public criticism, and a demoralizing loss to South Africa marked a low point in their history.

However, defeat can be a potent catalyst for growth. Instead of succumbing to the weight of disappointment, the All Blacks chose introspection and transformation. The dark days sparked a cultural revolution within the team. They recognized that their winning formula needed an upgrade, not just on the field, but off it as well.

Gone were the days of off-field controversies. The All Blacks embraced a new ethos of discipline and professionalism. The arrival of renowned psychologist Sir John Kirwan, affectionately nicknamed "Enoka," in 2004, marked a turning point. He instilled in the team a culture of mental toughness and unwavering commitment, empowering them to face both on-field challenges and personal demons.

This cultural shift wasn't mere rhetoric; it manifested in tangible actions. The "no-alcohol policy" became a symbol of their newfound dedication. Training regimes were revamped, emphasizing meticulous preparation and attention to detail. The haka, once a symbol of fearsome power, evolved into a poignant display of unity and respect, showcasing their values of humility and sportsmanship.

The results were undeniable. The All Blacks emerged from the ashes stronger, more resilient, and infinitely more disciplined. They reclaimed their dominance on the field, but more importantly, they redefined the meaning of being an All Black. Today, they stand as the gold standard of sportsmanship, their every move reflecting the lessons learned from those dark days.

So, the next time you witness the All Blacks perform their haka, remember that it's not just a war cry; it's a testament to their journey of transformation, a reminder that even the mightiest can stumble, but it's in rising from those stumbles that true greatness is forged. The All Blacks are not just a rugby team; they are a living embodiment of the power of resilience, a beacon of inspiration for anyone facing their own dark moments.
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December 06, 2023

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.
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September 12, 2023

Lessons from an All Black Rugby Player

I met an All Black
…and we spoke about…

I recently had the privilege of meeting an extraordinary individual who knows a thing or two about thriving under intense scrutiny: a New Zealand rugby player from the revered All Blacks team, Angus Taavao-Matau a prop. Our conversation shed light on the remarkable mindset and training techniques that help them consistently perform at the highest level.

In the sales world, pressure is an ever-present force. But what if I told you that rather than shying away from it, there's a way to harness its energy and turn it into a catalyst for success? The All Blacks do just that, and their approach is an inspiration for sales professionals seeking to elevate their performance to new heights.

During our conversation, Angus shared a key insight: they have a dedicated mental skills training coach on their team. By reframing pressure as an opportunity, they transform it from a source of stress into a source of motivation. They learn to move towards the pressure and embrace it.

By investing in mental skills training for your sales force, you can empower your team to flourish under the weight of challenging targets and demanding client interactions.

Here are a few reasons why mental skills training, inspired by the All Blacks, can be a game-changer for your sales team:
1️⃣ Improved Focus: Learn how to stay focused and composed even when the stakes are high. Salespeople with mental resilience can maintain clarity and make better decisions under pressure, ensuring consistent performance. They can handle rejection and overcome self-imposed limitations.
2️⃣ Enhanced Confidence: Develop unshakeable self-belief, empowering your team to approach every sales opportunity with confidence and conviction. Embracing pressure becomes second nature, allowing your sales professionals to shine in even the most challenging situations.
3️⃣ Stronger Resilience: Equip your team with the tools to bounce back from setbacks and rejections. Mental skills training teaches individuals to adapt, grow, and learn from their experiences, transforming obstacles into stepping stones towards success.

Don't let pressure hinder your sales team's potential; instead, harness its power to fuel exceptional performance. Just as the All Blacks embrace pressure as an opportunity, you can provide your sales professionals with the tools and mindset they need to thrive in the face of challenges.
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August 28, 2023

The All Blacks’ Winning Ethos: A Lesson in Excellence and Commitment

Winning is everything… I think it is part of the All Black ethos… I think you gain that just as a competitive type player and a provincial player and of course, only the best of the best, and the most competitive are going through to the All Blacks."

An obsession about winning, which is distinctive to All Black teams has been nurtured and sustained from the inception of the first team in 1903 until the present day. The core objective of winning is paramount to anything else but is only attained through a commitment to excellence in performance, a never-say-die attitude, pride in the selection and representing your country, and pride in wearing the black jersey with the silver fern.

Many organizations who are searching for that winning formula fail to understand it is not something created overnight. It is a deep dive into understanding why you exist. Understanding your core values and living and breathing them with no exceptions creates exceptional people.

Leaders must first display the intensity of purpose before people will follow. This is what ultimately creates that winning mindset.
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November 22, 2015

WHY COPYING SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAY NOT ALWAYS WORK FOR YOU

I've often been asked by people how to be more successful in sales, get the results they see their peers or other successful people in their industry achieve. Invariably most of these people fail, some achieve short-term success and often they fall back into the usual results they achieved because they couldn’t operate like the person they wanted to copy.

So why does this happen? Why is it hard to copy how successful people do things and why can’t we simply implement what they do? I see many people including self-help gurus talk about modelling successful people, copying their blueprint for success and then they teach this blueprint for success. The problem is there are a number of reasons why it doesn't work. If it did work all the time, there would be successful people everywhere; everyone would be making money, driving fancy cars, living in big houses and going on fancy holidays. Numerous books have been written on the subject and numerous people sell a “quick-fix” idea. People are sold in the dream they want to believe; they want a quick answer to their problems. I am afraid quick fixes don't exist.

A very good example is the recent Rugby World Cup won by the All Blacks as they were expected to. Interestingly, most of the top nations have New Zealand coaches - Scotland, Ireland and Wales - in an effort to copy the All Blacks’ culture and how they play. In fact in a recent article Stuart Barnes was quoted saying that the English need to raid NZ to find coaches to help them get out of their problems. The reality is this has a limited chance of happening. Why is this not possible? Because the environment that people are brought up in has an incredible influence on who they become as people. How you behave and the actions you take, all of it influences and shapes you. When they get into playing rugby in NZ, the first thing boys see is a Rugby ball and the All Blacks on TV; it’s in their DNA. They don’t see a soccer ball, they don’t aspire to join Manchester United or Barcelona. Take this further, when a boy starts to play rugby in New Zealand, he gets used to playing in all kinds of conditions. In fact the conditions can change within half an hour from rain to hail to sunshine to extreme wind or even snow, the grounds they play on can be deep in mud. Contrast that to Australian conditions - the moment it starts to rain and the ground looks like it may get waterlogged, they cancel the game. This rarely happens in New Zealand where the young boy develops the ability to play and adapt in all types of weather conditions. The style of play that is encouraged in New Zealand is very much free expression; play the ball in front of you. The environment that shapes the individual, the heritage, the pride in the jersey, the role models… all play significant parts in shaping the identity of this child. This is one of the reasons why the Robbie Deans experiment did not work in Australia, where he was trying to instill this philosophy within the Wallabies.

The New Zealand coaches are attempting to teach this culture to other nations. NZ is a single sport nation, very much like Brazil. Think about some of the incredible talent coming out of South America. The boys coming out of the favelas in Brazil have amazing skills that the European clubs pay big dollars for. The other thing these clubs pay for is the desperation these players have to leave the tough conditions. Once again the environment has played a significant role.

Coming back to sales, when you look at successful individuals, think about their life; where they were growing up, how they have progressed to be at this stage where they are right now. How do you think the environment has shaped them? What was different about their environment compared to yours? For example, did they have parents who mentored them or have teachers who supported them? How do you think they handled adversity? We frequently hear stories about successful people but we only hear the good stuff.

However, the environment, if it was not helpful to you, does not need to define you. But you need to be aware of its influence and recognise that making change is challenging but not impossible. It requires a conscious effort to change and if you can find supportive managers or a mentor, it will help.

Start to learn to reflect on your life and start to look for the lessons: What could it mean? What could I do? What can I change?

A successful salesperson will not only apply these questions to him/herself, but also to his clients and prospects.

Speaking of the All Blacks, I would like to pay respects to one of the greatest All Black wingers, Jonah Lomu, who passed away recently. Not only was he a great sportsman but also a person whom the world admired for his ability and humility off the pitch. He will surely be missed around the world.