Boxing Cornermen - The Chemistry of Great Sales Leadership

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Dec 06, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

Boxing Cornermen Chemistry of Great Sales People

HBO’s 24/7 chronicles the pre-fight training camp for significant upcoming bouts.  This Saturday, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez square off in Las Vegas.  It’s the fourth time that they’ve met.  Pacquiao leads the series 2-1, but Marquez defeated Pacquiao in their last bout.  Expectations and excitement levels are high as the boxing experts see these two being incredibly closely-matched.  We definitely can expect a great fight on Saturday.

Behind the fighters are two of the greatest cornermen in the game, Freddie Roach and the legendary Nacho Beristan.  Nacho’s fighters have won an amazing 25 world championships.  Freddie Roach has trained some of the best fighters in the world and has a storybook following.

What struck me was the nature of the relationship between the fighters and their coaches.  To say they trust and respect each other is a huge understatement.  And, the personal rivalry between Nacho and Freddie is perhaps greater than that of the fighters.  In short, there is a tremendous amount at stake including pride, history and legacy.

Putting the chemistry between the cornermen and fighters aside for a moment, Freddie and Nacho can teach us a lot about being world-class coaches and mentors. 

  • They are creatures of routine and habit.
  • Their workdays start early and end very late.
  • Details are never missed.
  • They will do whatever it takes to win.
  • The emphasis is on fundamentals.
  • Conditioning is paramount to success (behavior).
  • Mental toughness trumps everything.
  • They are masters at diagnosing the situation.
  • Changes are made incrementally and build on each other.

Listening to Manny and Juan talk about their coaches was similar to hearing grandchildren laud praise, honor, respect and unconditional love on their most adored grandparent.  It was a thing of beauty and a wonderful illustration of people helping people for all the right reasons.  My sense is that it’s almost more important to the fighters that they win for their coach than for themselves.

How committed to your salespeople are you?  Would they walk through walls if you asked them?  Is your relationship based on deep respect and trust?  Which elements of a cornerman’s approach are you missing and what are you going to do next?  A sales force evaluation would be a great first step into the ring!  Why not contact me directly?


Topics: sales competencies, sales culture, sales management best practices, compelling reasons to buy, sales personality, Bonding and Rapport, better coaching of sales people, achieving trusted advisor status

Salespeople and Sales Leaders – Are We Humble and Coachable Enough?

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Sep 09, 2010 @ 09:09 AM


See full size imageYesterday I spoke with a client about the difference between trainable and coachable. In simple terms a trainable person has enough motivation and incentive to improve. A coachable salesperson will accept constructive criticism without pushing back or worse, giving you lip service and ignoring you. 

When I interview salespeople I spend time on whether the candidate is open-minded, introspective and honest. They seem to consistently struggle with opening up and talking about where they can improve. When I ask why, they really can’t give me a good answer. I commonly hear their fear of showing any weakness and how this will be perceived by the interviewer.

I certainly hope we haven’t reached a point where hiring managers expect perfection and negatively judge candidates who are willing to discuss where they can improve.

We are creatures of habit and when we struggle in one situation we usually face similar challenges in another. So if salespeople and sales managers don’t want to acknowledge their limitations how does this affect their ability to create high value trusted advisor status? It’s not that we need to over emphasize our problems; it’s that we need to create more trust and respect and our human side has a great impact on this.

Our prospects and sometime our clients have trouble trusting us. If we don’t show our human side, will others trust us and find us credible?

Topics: sales leadership, Bonding and Rapport, coaching salespeople

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