5 Similarities Between Successful Athletes and Top Sales Professionals

Growing up in Midwest Ohio, playing sports was a huge part of my life. Introduced at an early age, I was actively involved in football, wrestling, track, rugby and more. My parents thought it was a great way for me to meet friends and learn valuable life lessons. I attribute many of my personal and professional traits to my sports background. And the lessons I learned have proven useful in my sales career. Some of these lessons include:

  • Communication: Without great communication skills, a team can’t be successful. Sales professionals also need to be great at communicating. You have to be able to ask questions and listen critically—or you won’t be very successful.
  • Resilience and Persistence: Sales is tough! You get a lot of “no’s” before you get your first “yes.” Just with athletics, if you get knocked down in sales, get back up, dust yourself off and try again.
  • Game planning: Without a game plan, teams don’t win many games. Same with sales! If you don’t plan your days/weeks/months out in advance, you are not going to be very effective.
  • Work ethic: Athletes don’t become successful overnight; they work at it every day. And you get what you put into sales. If you think sales is a “9 to 5” job, than you may be in the wrong profession.
  • Confidence: This is something that develops over time through practice and also comes as one starts putting wins on the board (closing deals).

As I continue to passionately watch the Olympics, cheer for Team U.S.A. and admire the skill of these amazing athletes, I fondly reflect upon my sports upbringing. And I thank my parents for introducing me to sports at such a young age. What I learned from team building and dedication has definitely helped me to build a successful sales career.

Happy selling and let’s go team!