This weekend will present the much anticipated, highly-publicized welterweight fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio. All eyes will be on the two fighters for a few hours, but there was an immensity of time that went into preparing for this fight. Each boxer's training methods are a bit different and both can provide some unique lessons to take into the world of sales.
PS: I won't be discussing Floyd Mayweather's business savvy - which he clearly has: the persona he's created of "The Money Team" or TMT for short, shows very clearly that he knows how to market himself and he knows how to sell. Instead, in this article I'm going to focus on boxing, training, and sports.
In what follows, I'll attempt to show the differences in their training styles and how that affects their approach in the ring. All throughout this article, I'll make the analogy of coaching and practicing in sales. It may be a slight stretch, but many sales people I know use sports analogies daily. Maybe this article will help you in that respect.
Also, check out Mayweather and Pacquiao's training methods, including the videos below. Get pass the actual training, but pay attention to the principles. Then see what you can apply today to help you close more sales.
Old School Training
Mayweather is 38 years of age and no new kid on the block by any stretch of the imagination. In preparation for this fight, Mayweather has gone old school. One of his training exercises has actually been chopping wood. This aims to strengthen both the core and the shoulders while also giving Mayweather a little extra power.
From my research, Mayweather hasn't incorporated chopping wood into his training until now. I have a hypothesis: Pacquiao outnumbers Mayweather in punches per round - in fact Pacquiao punches 2x the number Mayweather does per round. Maybe chopping wood will help Mayweather both in endurance, strength, and power - allowing him to punch more per round than he has in previous fights.
Pacquiao is also no spring chicken at 36 years of age. He has adapted a similar training style that consists of swinging a sledgehammer and doing wheelbarrow carries. It is an attempt to use manual labor practices to improve his strength. Pacquiao has not registered a knockout since 2009 and these moves are an attempt to get back that power shot that could floor Mayweather.
The sales world rarely goes old school anymore as it has seen drastic changes over the years. However, there are still some methods that work regardless of age. Traditionally, golf outings were a very productive way to cultivate a prospective client. Today, golf is as popular as ever. An afternoon out on the course provides sales reps a chance to build a bond with clients, which could go a long way towards closing a sale.
The Internet and social media have brought forth lots of new ways to do business. However, scheduling a face-to-face meeting still has so many benefits. It shows clients you are serious about acquiring their business and it also lets you get a better grasp on their mindset as you are able to actually see the body language that accompanies their replies. These meetings are also a way to establish trust as they provide the opportunity to make an actual connection.
Pacquiao has mixed up his training to include some plyometrics. This is a type of jump training which is aimed at building explosiveness. The object is to use a maximum amount of force in short increments. Squat jumps and box jumps are a couple kinds of plyometric exercises. Pacquiao's plyometric goal is to produce more power and explosion, which helps immensely in providing a knockout punch.
In preparation for this fight, Mayweather has taken to the pool. Swimming laps at a fast pace is aimed to improve his conditioning and overall core strength. In somewhat of a rather different approach, Mayweather continues to exercise his neck by using a head contraption that is connected to the bottom of the ring. He then lays on the edge and continually lifts his head up and down while wearing the weighted contraption.
These may not be the most traditional approaches to preparing for a fight, although new techniques evolve in all different areas, including sales.
Leveraging text messages to work to your advantage is a modern sales technique that can pay dividends. More people respond to text messaging as opposed to e-mails. Text messages are also pretty much assured to be read, whereas not all emails are opened before they find their way into the trash.
Using text messaging is a quick way to get feedback on a sales presentation. Simply send out a text asking everyone who witnessed the presentation for their thoughts. This is a safe way to communicate and allows you to get right to the point without having to waste time with meaningless formalities.
Mainstays in the Ring
Over the years, Mayweather and Pacquiao have both been stars in the boxing world. That didn't happen by accident. It happened because of an ongoing to commitment to excellence, which also extends to each boxer's training regimen. And much like their defining personalities, each boxer has some trademark training methods.
Mayweather has developed the habit of shadowboxing each time he arrives at the gym. The session usually lasts about ten minutes and is a constant part of his workout routine. In the middle of his workout, Mayweather also takes time out to do dips, lifting his own body weight while simultaneously strengthening his arms.
Pacquiao's training methods may be a little more along the lines of what one would expect from a traditional boxer. Nevertheless, amidst the common training techniques of bag work, sparring and various forms of conditioning, Pacquiao has one mainstay that might not be as ordinary. Leading up to a fight, Pacquiao diligently prepares for body shots by taking hits in the midsection and arms with a stick.
While those aforementioned training methods are synonymous with each fighter, there are numerous sales techniques that continually equate to success. However, there is a basis for each of those techniques to build upon.
Knowing the customer can serve as a successful springboard to numerous sales techniques. This will allow you to understand the customer's exact needs, which helps when it comes time to put together the right sales pitch. This kind of inside knowledge also lets you know when it's time to close.
Knowledge of the customer begins with research and is followed by constant communication. It may seem like a simple task, but one that is often overlooked by many sales reps.
Take the time to learn as much as you can about your clients, customers and prospects and the end result will be an eventual TKO.
Manny Pacquiao at Wild Card Gym
In this video, watch Manny practice his footwork. How will his practicing of footwork help him in the ring against mayweather?
Manny Pacquiao Hitting Heavy Bag
Watch Manny hit the heavy bag. Pay attention to how he follows through and punches beyond the bag.
Manny Pacquiao Strength Training
Some of the strength trainiing Manny is doing is interesting. He's working the core muscles and also his balance. As a sales rep, what are the items you can focus on today to help you improve your "sales core"?