March 31, 2009

Intensity, Commitment and Enthusiasm

Yesterday, I overheard a coach shouting from the riverbank to his university rowing team afloat in the water. He recognized that they were tired, after all this was the fourth night in a row of intensive training for the amateur team. Then he counted down the weeks to a major tournament and assured them that victory if they maintained the present level of intensity and commitment. Suddenly I heard the voices of hundreds of sales managers.

Many people draw inspiration from sports, but what level of commitment did you, or your sales team bring to their work today? Was it the same level of intensity as expected from a victorious six nation's rugby team, or a world champion boxer? Did it flow from the top of the organisation to the bottom, impacting on customers, prospects and suppliers alike?

Many sporting coaches have brought their knowledge of human performance to business and they have brought the acronym ICE with them - that is intensity, commitment and enthusiasm. These characteristics are an essential to survival in today's turbulent markets:

Intensity – as if your job depended on it.

Commitment – as if you might not get the chance to do it again

Enthusiasm – as if you could not fail.

The era of full order books, RFPs and in-bound customer enquiries is at an end. The response is ICE in terms of selling. This is immediately evident in terms of levels of activity, professionalism and innovation in terms of sales and marketing. It can be quantified in terms of the number of; calls, emails, sales meetings, etc. with customers, past customers, prospects, contacts, etc.

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