Sales Motivation – Boston Celtics are the Hungriest Team

Cedric Maxwell, former Boston Celtic basketball star, and current Celtic radio broadcaster, was the guest on Boston’s WEEI today.  He was talking about the Celtic’s new big three, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Max said that Garnett, Pierce and Allen are hungrier veterans because they haven’t won anything yet, unlike some of their counterparts in the NBA.  He said that their hunger, more than their talent, is the big differentiator that is making the Celtics the team to beat this year.

When Maxwell reminisced about the Celtics of the 80’s, he said that Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish and himself had not won in college while the Lakers’ Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had all won championships in college.  When those two great teams went head to head, the Celtics had the edge because they were the hungrier team.

So, if the teams measure up on talent, it’s hunger that sets them apart.

When Objective Management Group evaluates sales forces or screens sales candidates, our single most important finding, more important than the selling skills we find, is hunger, or, what we call Desire, how badly the salespeople or sales managers want to succeed in their sales or sales management career.

When you have hungry salespeople, their incentive to improve and overcome obstacles is much greater than when your people aren’t so hungry, lack the incentive to change, and you can’t count on them to improve.

I always knew that selling was just like baseball, but now I know that selling is just like basketball too.