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May 14, 2019

The Two Similarities Between Great Salespeople and Great Athletes

Did you know that many of the behaviours that led to success in the sports world also apply to the sales world?

I’ve noticed that there are many similarities between great salespeople and athletes. Here are two of them.

Similarity #1 – A Competitive Drive

Truly great sportspeople have a desire to be the very best at what they do. The players and teams that live long in the memory all have that will to win.

Think about the great salespeople that you’ve met in your life.

They likely had a similar competitive streak. Perhaps they always rushed to get in touch with a lead first. Or, they focused on learning so that they could boost their sales numbers above those of other team members.

A competitive streak can prove invaluable in sales. However, it’s important that sales leaders temper the ego that can come with the success this competitiveness brings.

Similarity #2 – Creativity

Think about how an attacking player sees an opposing soccer team. They’re not just eleven people that the player’s competing against.

Combined, they create a puzzle that the attacker has to solve. A clever pass or a piece of unexpected skill can create that solution.

The point is that great athletes tend to be extremely creative. They see strategies and plays that others don’t.

Great salespeople are also creative.

I find that this creativity often stems from learning. The best salespeople challenge themselves to learn new things constantly. Then, they adapt and apply what they learn to their work.

This requires them to look beyond the easily-measurable metrics, such as sales numbers. They look at the problems that they face and use what they learn to solve those problems.