There’s no ‘I’ in team. Sales has to be
a team sport. Don’t forget your supporting cast. These are phrases I’ve used
often and do believe in. But, from time-to-time, treat your sales career like a
round of golf. Golf is never a competition against the other members of your
foursome. Rather, golf is a competition against yourself. Some days everything
goes in your favor. The course conditions are great. The weather is perfect.
And, you seem to be playing above your norm. Other days are just bad. It starts
to rain. You can’t hit a straight tee shot. You three putt every hole. You want
to put the clubs back in the car and call it a day, but you don’t, you fight
through until you wrap up eighteen.
Your sales career is not all that
different. You have good days and bad days. You have beautiful sun-filled blue
sky days and dark dreary days. Like golf you will have your ups and downs. How
you finish out eighteen is a testament to your character. When you give up or
throw in the towel, you show weakness. But, stand strong with your head held
high, and you will come out a winner (regardless of the score).
Don’t get me wrong, sales is now and
always has been a team sport, and sometimes so is golf. I know a few guys that
are single digit handicap golfers and not one would say they’ve done it on
their own. They have coaches. They have pro’s that offer mental stability. They
have shops with professional club fitters. They have fitness or yoga
instructors. They take the game very seriously and know the support team behind
them is necessary to excel. They plan for greatness and then act upon their
Sales people should do the very same
thing: plan for greatness and act upon the plan. While many times it comes down
to you, the individual sales person with a strong character to close the deal,
being prepared means making sure you have the right team helping you prepare.
You may be by yourself in front of the prospect asking for the signature, just
as you’re by yourself holding the putter aiming for birdie, but you must
realize you are not alone. You have others cheering for you.
In golf and sales, as with other sports,
musical instruments, public speaking, etc., practice makes perfect. Treating
your sales career like golf is just that, making sure you practice, and then
proceed onto the course. Knowledge in sales is like muscle memory in golf. It
does not come with one visit to the driving range. Practice in sales can sound
mundane, but it is not. Only the best sales people rise to greatness. Greatness
comes through relentless practice. Just like golf.