Unless you are heading for the PGA or LPGA, you likely golf for fun. Perhaps you take some lessons, or shoot a bucket of balls and chip and putt before a round. Most of us will at least do this to “try” and improve our game.
Did you know that some Golf College students average 6 hours of practice each day from Monday to Friday during college time, and then they practice and play outside of those hours as well. It is all focus as they have a lot riding on their future success. This means that when they practice, they are not checking their text messages or surfing the Internet, they are going through their routines with discipline and focus.
Now, how many of us are in Sales just for fun? Almost everyone is in sales, in one form or another. While it might be funa, it generally is more serious and essential to our business well being and success. ($$).
As a Sales professional, how much time do you actual practice Sales?
There is on old saying in golf, stating that, “you drive for show and putt for dough”. There may be some truth to that statement, however it has been suggested that every “good” golf stroke adds value. The closer a swing gets you to the hole without finding trouble, the higher the value.
Golf is a lot like sales. Every “good” stroke (i.e. action step within a sales process) that gets you closer to the hole (i.e. closing the sale) adds value. The objective in golf is to get the ball in the hole in the fewest possible swings. (i.e. steps in the sales process).
Sales, like golf, requires practice, but as my life/business mentor, Arnold McLaughlin suggests, you must have “perfect” practice to improve your game. Practising bad habits won’t win the day! (Arnold has 50 years of Sales experience and is still an active Commercial Realtor in Vancouver at the age of 80, and continues to perfect his game and helps me perfect mine)
One of our service offerings at X5 Management is to coach, train and consult many sales professionals for our corporate customers and we have identified three areas that make the difference from the average sales professional to the championship sales professional.
FOCUS, WILL, and CAPABILITY
Like golf, the sales professional is Laser Focused on the goal or objective. i.e. Sink the putt, or close the sale) You won’t see the leader at the PGA Championship walking up to the 18th green with a mobile phone in his hand and texting friends and family about how awesome his round is. So, why is it that so many sales professionals (or any other career for that matter) do this daily, to intentionally distract them from their game? Focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions that take you off of your “sales game”.
Winners in golf and sales are willing to “practice”, eat healthy, exercise, meditate and get plenty of rest. As a sales professional, are you willing to do whatever it takes to improve your sales game? What bad habits are you prepared to stop doing? What good habits must you do more of?
Not everyone will win a PGA Championship, nor will they be the top sales producer in their industry, but all of us can be better at the game. How can you develop new capabilities and skills to become better every day, week, month, or quarter? What do we read, study and follow to get better? Can you use the support of your Sales Manager, Sales Coach or Mentor to take your game to the next level?
A final comparison to sales and golf: A PGA tournament has 4 rounds. A fiscal year in your business has 4 quarters. You can have a bad round or quarter, but the key to getting back on track is to focus on the outcome, make necessary adjustments and avoid distractions that don’t add value to your results and continually improve your game every “hole”, every “sale” and every day.
A great quote from golf legend, Arnold Palmer: “What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.”