Okay, but what does it have to do with business?
Curlers and salespeople share several surprising similarities. Both require practice, passion and perseverance. In the spirit of the Olympics, here are the four curling positions you need to play in sales:
You need to be a good Lead
Are you a go-getter who’s unafraid to take risks? In curling, this is the Lead. They’re the person who throws the first two stones that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Embody this player by reaching out to a prospect first, discovering new leads and embracing the unknown. Cultivate confidence to make cold calls, take chances and take charge. Your leadership will ‘sweep’ your competition. Literally.
There’s no success without the Second
In curling, the Second needs to be in perfect sync with the Lead. They also throw the (no surprise here) second two stones. Good Seconds are strong supporters, sweeping the ice for other players with finesse. (Fun Fact: The friction from sweeping heats the ice, allowing the stone to travel further.)
The Second is critical to the team’s success, just like supportive sales people. In sales, it can often be easy to forget about the team when you’re hyper-focused on your own agenda. But when you work with your team to achieve larger company goals, you’ll maximize efficiency and bring home the gold.
Seconds are selfless, loyal and act as the backbone of the team. Be like this player and adopt an empathetic approach to selling. It’ll help you build trust amongst colleagues and clients. Offer to help your coworkers on big projects and tag-team meetings. Like the Second, you’ll help propel your team further and faster.
It’s Vital to be a Vice
In curling, the Vice must be able to make any shot. In the business world, this means being flexible. Demonstrate the agility to pivot with poise and persevere. Flip between projects and tailor the strategy accordingly. Vices are analytical and provide balance to the team.
It’s also the Vice’s job to set up the final shots and discuss strategy. In the office, this means doing your research and roleplaying before important calls or big meetings. Rather than winging it, rehearse and prepare to secure the win.
Don’t skip the Skip
As the captain of the team and an expert on strategy, it’s the Skip’s job to evaluate when the team should throw their shots, and when to hold back. Be the Skip on your squad. These are natural leaders who aren’t afraid to speak up and call the shots. Do whatever it takes to get the team to goal (or gold). Skips are creative with an innate ability to inspire. To embody this player, go beyond hitting metrics and focus on building authentic relationships. The Skips of sales may not be Olympic curlers, but they are closers.