(This is the seventh in a series of 18 articles on the relationship between Golf and the Principles of Sales Success. Read Hole #6: Realistic Goals)
"You will never find a golf professional practicing in the middle of a tournament when the money is on the line. They come prepared and execute on that which they know. Are you practicing when you are in the money round?”
During a tournament, when money is on the line, the best pros raise their game to another level. They
are able to hit incredible shots despite tremendous pressure, as if they do it all the time. In fact, they
make it look easy because they do “do it all the time.”
Nothing squelches pressure better than confidence borne of having already been in that position previously, and persevered. If you are staring down a shot with an awkward lie, hitting to a well protected green and having to hit your shot through a very narrow opening in the trees, it can be a daunting task for anyone. It becomes particularly difficult if it is the first time you are hitting such a shot. That is why the pros practice. They continuously place themselves in positions where they must make these difficult shots but they do so BEFORE the money is on the line. They hit the range regularly and play countless practice rounds to be prepared for what confronts them during the money round.
For a sales professional, the money round is when you are in front of the prospect and the business is on the line. Are you prepared to face any obstacle you encounter, and address the shot without being shaken off your game? Do you have a smooth, repeatable swing (sales process) which you review before the meeting? Have you practiced your sand shots, which appear as objections and stalls by the prospect? Have you analyzed the “course” and are you prepared with a strong call objective and key questions to control the sales call? Role playing and preparation are as critical to sales success as practice rounds and the driving range are to golf mastery.
The majority of sales people invest less than $20 dollars per year in honing their skills. Companies invest in product and industry training if, at all. The result is that most sales people are ill-prepared for their career, and their growth is slowed or non existent. I once coached a top producing insurance professional who attained “top of the table” status 10 consecutive years. His challenge was that while he was highly accomplished, he felt that it was a difficult road, and one which cost him too much. He felt that he really could have reached greater heights, or the same heights with less sacrifice, if only he had learned from his mistakes.
Effective sales people know their weaknesses, and have a practice regimen designed to continuously improve. They consistently invest time and money in honing their sales skills with training and development. These are the select few who read voraciously, secure a sales coach and/or join associations dedicated to the improvement of their profession.
Practice Now, not Later.
Read Hole #6: Realistic Goals
Donald J. Hahn is President of Hahn & Associates, an award winning Sandler Sales Institute Training & Coaching Firm. He has enjoyed a successful 26 year sales and sales management career and has experience in sales and management training, as well as marketing, recruiting, customer service, business development, and mentoring solutions.
A Certified Franklin Covey Coach, past President of the Buffalo Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives, member of the American Society for Training & Development and the International Coaching Federation, Don provides the needed executive training and coaching to take clients to the next level - achieving increased profitability, improved customer satisfaction, maximum market penetration, and enhanced selling performance.
In addition, Don is the author and owner of a reliable interviewing tool entitled H.I.R.E, which improves sales candidate selection and is a guest speaker for the Keep It In the Fairway’s Northeast Region Seminars.
Company Profile: Hahn Sales Training
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