Sales Olympics: Lessons from the Games Part 3

The Olympics are in full swing and I am excited because Athletics (track and field) are just about to start. Usain Bolt is one of my favourites! I hope you have been enjoying our series of the sales lessons you can learn form the games Any lessons you have learned so far that you want to share?

  • People do what they are rewarded to do. The behavior of 8 top seeded Badminton players (playing to lose on purpose so they could get better re: weaker opponents in the next round) was appalling. They deserved to be disqualified because they broke the rule of their federation and the spirit of the Olympics. All that aside, it draws an interesting sales parallel.

The round robin play was set up so that it rewarded the top seeded players for losing in the round of 32 by giving them  an easier competitor in the round of 16. Losing meant the top seed  did not have to face the number 2 seed in the round of 16. That meant the top seed was virtually assured a win and advancement to the next round. They attempted to “game” the system in order to be rewarded later.

Sales people do exactly what they are rewarded to do. If your compensation plan can be “gamed” expect it to be “gamed”. If you don’t reward reps for selling to a specific group or pay them for selling a specified product, do not except those products to be sold or those groups to be sold to.

  • Your mental game is key. Michel Phelps has shown that even when you lose your signature event, if you move past it and  get your head back in the game you can win elsewhere. Don’t give up!
  • Treat your team right! Zara Phillips travels with her horses in a $800,000 USD trailer that holds 6 horses and 6 people with granite counter tops, AC, and satellites. She and her team (horses) always arrive rested, well fed, and ready to win. Does your team have everything they need to compete effectively?

Dedicated to helping you bring home the gold!