Monday, January 24, 2011

Sports and Marketing

What a nerve wracking match the Vth and final decider match between India and South Africa turned out to be yesterday.

Finally the better team won; the lessons to be taken from yesterday’s game are grit & the positive attitude that differentiate men amongst the boys. How a single individual with the right positive approach, attitude, and passion can weaken a strong opposition.

The result was a foregone conclusion, the point that needs to be pondered are how Yusuf Pathan played mind game against the opposition; out playing them even though the chips were heavily loaded in favour of the opposition, speaks volume of what an individual can do. The grit and determination he displayed has to be commended.

I, am not here to analyse the plus and minuses of the game but how relevant games are in our day to day context and this made me sit up and analyse how games can be closely related to our sales and marketing lives.

The key attributes could be

 Confidence
 Discipline
 Focus
 Goal direction
 The drive
 Ambition
 Mental Toughness

We can probably deduce that the same characteristics apply to successful people in marketing, Sportsmen always are always on a lookout for a way to get an edge on their competition. A sound mental training can often make the difference between a winner and a loser.

Same techniques can help a marketing personnel to become more successful in both business and life. There are studies documenting the performance improvement that comes from spending 5-10 minutes a day visualising an upcoming competition.

Think about the performance improvements that could occur. It could make the difference between you and your competitors, or even between you and a peer going for the same promotion, no wonder Yusuf Pathan is the second highest paid player in IPL.

Sports can be a great metaphor for business, but we can and should apply more than just a story about a favorite player or team. If you want to get an edge on your competition, utilize some of the same techniques Sportsperson do.

We always crib that the targets are high and is un-achievable and whatever has been decided and handed over to us is from the perspective of the top management, the management is impractical, they do not understand the practical problems faced by Sales people in the field etc etc., thank God Pathan did not think negatively like that; else he single handedly would not have turned the match against proteas and made it more interesting; and worth the watch.

Reminded of one more old school of though “ Fortune favours the brave”