Mindfulness, compassion, competition and joy.
These are the four core values upon which Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, has built his teams that have achieved such great success, including winning two NBA championships. (Yes, the past couple of seasons have been tough due to injuries to critical players. But just wait until Klay is back next year…)
Kerr’s teams are notable for playing a brand of basketball that is remarkable for its teamwork, selflessness, ruthless efficiency and flat out exuberance.
The temptation is to chalk this success up to the collective talent of the players. However, Kerr believes that his team’s success is largely attributable to the degree to which the players all have embraced and bought into the culture defined by Kerr’s four core values: mindfulness, compassion, competition and joy.
Have you thought about how you could incorporate these values into your sales culture to improve your results? It would be quite a change from the traditional “what have you done for me lately” sales cultures favored by many sales managers.
Let’s take a quick look at how Kerr’s four values apply to sales.
It’s about being present for the customer. It’s about eliminating distractions and being completely focused on the customer. It’s about being mindful of your obligations to invest in the continuous learning required to increase the value you can deliver to your buyers.
Sales is all about competition. First, you have to love battling tooth and nail with competitors (and inertia) for the right to serve your customers. Also, in many ways, sales is a competition against yourself. For most people, selling is not a natural act. Therefore, every day you have to compete against your instincts, as well as the fears that cause you to shrink from doing the hard, but necessary, things like picking up the phone and calling a prospect.
Compassion starts with empathy for your customers. This is the ability to understand their questions, problems and goals from their point of view. It also requires that you have empathy for your colleagues. What are they struggling with and how could they use your help? How can you help them meet their goals?
Joy is fun. Actually it’s one step above fun. Joy is what happens when you are in total command of your process, your products and your customers. Joy is the pleasure that comes from the confidence, competence and purpose you display in how you help your buyers.
It’s up to sales managers to cultivate these values in their team. It starts with modeling these behaviors with your salespeople. Are you completely mindful and distraction free when you meet with a sales rep? Have you invested the time to really understand the individuals on your team and how you can help them achieve their goals and aspirations? And, do you give your people the freedom to express themselves, to let them decide how to utilize their skills to best serve your customers?
As Steve Kerr said, “A lot of teams have talent…But when that talent is committed to the greater good and to each other and they actually genuinely care about each other and enjoy each other, that takes you over the top.”
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.