BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 26 AUG 2019



I love cricket. That my SKYGO now worked in Spain during the first test was the highlight of my holiday. As a boy in Glasgow I would close the curtains and watch Botham, Willis and Gower do their stuff for five day stretches.

Watching Ben Stokes square the Ashes on Sunday was the best telly ever. As I was packing for a week away delivering sales training in Milan my mind wandered to how I might weave what I saw into the programme.

Here are five things sales teams can learn from the great ginger’s gargantuan innings.

There were five Ben Stokes in evidence, how many do you have?

Mercurial Master
Stokes did something nobody else could. The only person with a context for that Ashes performance was Ian Botham, since he has been there and done it. There were many highlights but the three sixes - a reverse sweep, a low volley off a full toss and one over the keepers head - were testimony to someone on a different plane.

Who in your team is the mercurial master? The creative, the disrupter, the one you trust can bring something no one else can.

They can be hard to handle, but work out how and you will make sales.

Cool Head
This was the most impressive aspect of Stoke’s innings. He needed to rein in the instinct to throw bat at every ball.

He seemed to have the coolest head in the country, though he admitted the last two runs gave him palpitations.

Who is your cool head, someone who douses the flames, sees the road ahead and calms fraying nerves?

Stokes doesn’t look like the touchy-feely sort; in fact he looks more tough love. But what an example of well-directed empathy and encouragement.

Empathy comes in all guises and the stoic, masculine rapport between Stokes and Leach was something.

Who provides the soft and hard empathy in your team? Too much of either is tough for the team, you need both.

Stokes never celebrated his century because the job was not done. The nerves were palpable through the TV from 300 miles but not out in the middle.

We had the impression, as the runs required ticked down, that it was going to happen because the man in control believed it and had the tools to do it.

Do you have a finisher in your team, someone who will keep on it when there are 30 runs to go, concentrate when there are 18 and play a glorious cover drive for the last run?

Stokes, by any standards, should have been spent, having bowled 25 overs straight at the Ozzies when they batted.

No ability is required to give all you have and then some more. Who in your team can you rely on to give you all they have?

That’s it. We can’t all be Ben Stokes but if your team has all five in evidence, with some of you claiming two or three of these traits, you will make it rain plenty.

Sales is one game where rain does not stop play.



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