What Salespeople Can Learn about Being an MVP from Stephen Curry

5 min read

What a week! Being in the Bay Area, we’ve been treated with a Golden State Warriors season that one can only dream of. Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a record 73-win season; he demolished the single-season record for most three-pointers made (402); and he returned from a knee injury to help the Warriors come back in overtime to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals. To cap it all off, Curry was not only named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second-straight year … he was selected unanimously for the first time in league history. That’s high praise for a league that has/had players like Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant. We appreciate Steph Curry’s story because we view him as one of us. He was not considered to be a “likely” basketball star. Too small, bad ankles, strictly a shooter. But he has proven that hard work and determination can help achieve anything we put our minds to. So how can we apply these Steph Curry lessons towards becoming an MVP in Sales?

Invest in Your Community

Curry isn’t just an MVP on the court; he’s a model citizen off of it as well. Even though he’s originally from North Carolina, he’s invested countless hours giving back to his community and making himself accessible to his biggest fans. Sales people must also invest in their community. Working in sales means building relationships. So it’s important to invest time in getting to know your customers and prospects. After all, there’s an old saying that the difference between a contact and a contract is the “R” … which stands for “relationship.”

Think Long-Term

There were several games where the Warriors were winning by such a magnitude that Curry did not even play in the fourth quarter. While he could have padded his stats with more points and three-pointers, he often sat back and let the rest of his team receive the glory. Moreover, when he was in, he focused his time on “assists” rather than take all the points for himself. He realized the bigger picture of what this would do for his team in terms of camaraderie and morale. In sales, think long-term in supporting your customers. Every interaction shouldn’t be about the close. Sometimes it’s just about being a strong partner. And building that kind of rapport will pay off in the long run.

View a Failed Attempt as a Learning Experience

In Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Portland, Steph was 0-for-his-first-10 from the three-point line. He made his 11th attempt in overtime and turned out to be one of the biggest shots in the game. In sales, you simply aren’t going to sink all your shots. But regardless of whether or not you make the sale, each attempt should be a learning experience on what you could do differently next time.

Lean on Your Team Stephen Curry

Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about Steph without names like Klay, Draymond and Andre. The Warriors’ motto is “Strength in Numbers,” and that should apply when it comes to sales, too. Sometimes that means thinking outside your commission to bring in the “team” that best supports what the customer needs. So there you have it, when it comes to sales, you too can be an MVP. Just take a few pointers from Steph Curry and you’ll be sure to hit a slam dunk … or in Steph’s case, a mid-court three-pointer.