Competitive Sports are Like Professional Sales

Professional Sports and Professional Sales

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 When my company was re-branded, I wanted a name that represented my views and my life. At the time, my son had been a successful Division I college athlete and moved on as a professional hockey player. Not only had I raised one competitive athlete but we also provided a home-away-from-home in Seattle for players who played Major-Junior hockey in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). These young men (16-21 years old) lived elsewhere, usually from a Canadian or American town far away. Every one of them joined the league as a stepping stone to the NHL - all with dreams of succeeding.  Some did, and many others went back to their farm in Saskatchewan or home in Manitoba where they came from.

Between youth sports, hosting CHL players, and being a parent of a college hockey and then professional athlete, I always saw the very strong parallels between being an athlete and being a professional seller. Disciplined, skilled, and with "top athlete DNA" we saw athletes at every level prevail. Undisciplined, less skilled, and with lower levels of "athlete DNA" players did not do well. It doesn’t mean that athletes make the best salespeople – some do, some don't. It DOES mean that the passion, commitment, dedication, and coachability needed to be a successful athlete are similar to what it takes to succeed in sales.

The company name Score More Sales was a winner for me. I always think about that extra hustle, that extra practice, and that extra coaching we all need to improve and get to the top of our game.

If you are like me, when you see the Religion of Sports video teaser – top athletes talking about their successes, failures, and discipline - it will make you think of your role as a seller or as a leader of a sales team.

These resonated the most for me when I saw it – what about you?

“What are you willing to give up to be the best you can be?”

“Someone is out there working really hard, and they’re working to beat me.”

"Are you at your company to be the all-time best?"

“Not facing your fears completely defines your limits.”

“It’s so much more than just a solo effort.”

“It’s like a scene in a movie when everything magically happens the right way”

Can you relate?

Sales is an admirable profession. Work like a top professional athlete to be most successful, through:



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Lori Richardson  helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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