I am very lucky this week to be spending some time away on my annual golf tour to sunnier places with some great friends. I treasure the times that I have away with these great people, and although I often come home feeling tired and frustrated (only due to the way I played golf!!!), it’s a week in the calendar that I look forward to every year.
I shared a LinkedIn post (if we aren’t already connected then let’s change that) where I shared a story about how my first round went!
Suffice it to say, it didn’t go quite as I had planned. As I walked off the course, it reminded me that golf and sales might seem like two very different activities, but they actually have a lot in common. Both require patience, strategy, focus, and persistence.
Patience is Key
In golf, patience is a virtue. The game requires a great deal of concentration, focus, and attention to detail. Similarly, in sales, patience is crucial. It takes time to build relationships, establish trust, and close deals. The most successful salespeople are those who are patient and persistent.
Golf is a strategic game. Every shot requires careful consideration of the layout of the course, the distance to the hole, the wind direction, and many other factors. Sales is also a strategic game. Successful salespeople need to understand the unique nature of each customer’s desires, preferences, and pain points. They need to be able to tailor their approach to each individual customer and anticipate issues. If you take the same approach everywhere, you will fail both on the golf course and with conversations with potential customers.
Perseverance Pays Off
In golf, one bad shot can ruin an entire round. But the best golfers are able to persevere through difficult situations and recover from setbacks. Tiger Woods used to say that every time he hit a bad shot, he would mentally ‘Walk through the Door of Disappointment’ so that it didn’t affect his next shot. Sales is no different. Rejection is a natural part of the sales process, and successful salespeople are able to persevere through rejection and keep pushing forward. They know “no’s” are part of the game and they don’t let one “no” (or bad incident) keep them from their overall path.
Focus is Essential
Golf requires intense focus and concentration. Every shot demands complete attention and a clear mind. Become complacent, and the hooks, shanks and duffs come in! Sales also requires focus. Successful salespeople need to be able to tune out distractions and really focus on their customers’ issues and goals. Getting inside the head of someone is as critical in sales as it is in golf! So often it’s been said that golf is a Mental game. The talent is often there but it’s whether you can apply it that counts!
Practice Makes Perfect
Finally, both golf and sales require practice. The more you practice golf, the better you get. Especially if you have taken some advice from an expert and then apply this. Before I came out to Spain, I had a lesson from a great guy called George Ryall. I haven’t had the time to apply everything he mentioned yet but I will have to when I get back if I am to see the results I want.
Selling is no different. The more conversations you have, the more times you practice with someone you know, the better you will become at being able to have a conversation for real with a potential buyer. Consistent effort and practice are key to success in both endeavors.
So if you want to ensure you perform to top standards in sales situations, apply these 5 aspects to your world and your chances of success will increase!
Whether I will be able to achieve my golfing goal this week and win the Vilamoura Medal? Who knows!
Watch out for next week’s email where I will share the end result.