In a 2015 Business Review article, author David Aaker compares the skills of Steve Jobs with those of Bob Knight, the former controversial Indiana Hoosiers’ coach whose expertise of 29 years led the University of Indiana’s basketball team to fame.

Knight is equally renowned for his fiery temperament. While he may have appeared to be out of control emotionally by many viewers, Coach Knight executed successful methods. Aaker likens the ingenious businessman Steve Jobs to Knight because of his brilliance, intensity, and his unorthodox, and sometimes cruel, yet effective techniques.bob-knight

Bob Knight believed in having a strategy against opponents that would work. He made frequent use of the motion offense, a continued movement of the players that utilized the quickness of the offensive team, helping to lessen the size advantage of the opposing team’s defense. Also, by passing the ball around in this manner, one player usually could find an opening for making a basket.

Like the motion offense, other plays designed by Knight were also limited and always simple. Despite the simplicity of these strategies, players were made to practice until they could execute the plays with perfection and amazing effectiveness. Coach Knight won 902 NCAA Division I college basketball games. Four times, Knight received National Coach of the year, and eight times he was awarded Big Ten Coach of the Year. He also coached the 1984 Olympic team to a gold medal.

The interesting parallels between Bob Knight’s style of leadership and that of Apple’s Steve Jobs, who was equally demanding, demonstrate that leaders do not have to be well-liked or nurturing to have successful organizations. They only need a strategy that is effective. Coaching people in sales demands strategic thinking just as coaching a sport does. The sales trainer must teach skills and sales strategies and be sure that the representatives have the necessary tools and understanding of their roles in the business for them to succeed.

Just as it was for Bob Knight, simplicity and its effectiveness are also important to ASLAN companies. Here are their sales concepts:

  • A simple, unique strategy
  • A direct path to the “Decision Maker”
  • A development process that connects the Decision Maker’s needs to what the company offers
  • Learning who has the most influence
  • Neutralizing those who object to meeting with a sales representative
  • Reinforcement of sales skills