5 Reasons Why Selling is Like …. Being a Boxer

About 10 years ago I started working with Glenn, a personal fitness trainer.

Glenn was a thirty something ex-army, boxing champion who did a bit of modelling as a side-line, allegedly just missed out on being an original member of Take That and had a much larger number of female clients than male.

This clearly did nothing for the self esteem of a greying, overweight, stressed out, sleep deprived over worked businessman and (recent) father.

Turned out it was exactly what I needed. I got back in shape, ran a couple of half marathons and felt great about myself – and my mind was operating like never before.

I had huge respect for Glenn, not only was he all the things previously mentioned, he was running his own, extremely successful business – and so we had a regular chance to talk through a number of different ideas and philosophies while we he was putting me through my paces.

Once a week he’d mix up the routine by throwing in an hour of boxing training – and it’ll be no surprise to the regular reader, that I found a number of similarities with the world of sales – 5 to be precise.

1. You’ve Got to Recognise that Natural Doesn’t Mean Perfect

A straight punch will land on an unskilled, undisciplined opponent who won’t be able to hit you back with their wild, erratic swing.

A direct, honest sales approach that embraces the fundamentals of great sales techniques, will always serve you well in tight situations.

Like a good jab you should practice it on a daily basis.

2. Learn to Move with Fluidity

You can never succeed in boxing unless you have perfect footwork. Without footwork, your legs will get tied up and you’ll lose your balance.

A good sales person can move forward and backwards while probing for ways of gaining a deeper understanding of the situation and then, once the real needs and buying motives have been revealed, shift and present a knockout solution on either side.

However, walking in with your blinkers on or only being able to move in a single direction will probably end in tears

3. Your Body and Mind Need to Be in Great Shape

If they are, you will be able to work longer and harder before fatigue sets in.

Filling every hour of a normal working day effectively and efficiently always beats a poorly organised, stressed out ten hour day or even worse, a listless eight hours without the energy to achieve anything.

If your body, mind and home life are all in great shape – on the odd occasion it’s required – a couple of late nights and a working weekend will be a walk in the park.

4. There’s No Point Punching Things You Can’t See

“If you’re going to sell John Jones what John Jones buys, you’ve got to sell John Jones through John Jones’ eyes”

If you can’t see what your prospect wants or needs, then you won’t be able to give it to them.

You have got to develop an element of empathy mixed with a true understanding of how you can help.

If you can see the target you can hit it – if you can’t, you’re just flailing about in the dark.

5. Sparring is Important

Without sparring practice, you never get to iron out the problems you might have with defensive moves, probing or distancing.

Without coaching and well thought out situational exercises you’ll just keep doing the things you always do, without ever finding out where you’re going wrong.

If an external sales training partner is out of the question – there are loads of great books.

Why not try The Sales Bible, Secrets of Closing the Sale, Sales EQ, The Greatest Salesman in the World or The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club.

Even easier, if you’re looking for something worth watching in your spare time, just go onto YouTube and find a bit of Jeffrey Gitomer, anything by the late Zig Ziglar or why not try the the Varda Kreuz channel.

You see, always being a contender when the world has laid the knowledge to become a champion right at your feet, is simply saying you really can’t be bothered.


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