What do Golf and Sales have in common?


I recently wrote about how I had the opportunity to revisit one of my passions, Golf.  I talked about how good it felt to actually be back on the course, how relaxing it was, and it helped me to find the calm. The truth of the matter is it helped me get my MOJO back.

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring us back and allow us to re-focus. Whether it is in the game of life, the sales game, or the game of golf.  As I watched the Masters this past weekend, I couldn’t help but think about the similarities between golf and sales. The more I thought about it the more I began to realize that golf and sales do have a lot in common.

Sales, like golf, is in essence a solitary game. You’re on your own. There is no team to pick up the slack when you’re down. Sure you might play alongside or against other players, and you might also have the support of a mentor, but you’re really playing on your own.  Everyday is a new day and its what you do today that matters. It doesn’t matter how successful you were yesterday or the day before. There is no tenure, no taking it easy, and no resting on your laurels. Your success is based on how you perform today.

In golf every situation is different. Different course, different conditions, different obstacles that require different strategies and different tools (golf clubs). Sometimes things are totally out of your control. You can catch a bad break, get a bad bounce or bad lie that you have to deal with and recover from. It’s the same in sales. In sales, no two selling situations are alike. Prospects and clients have different needs and requirements with different objections that involve different approaches, tactics and strategies. In sales you need to utilize all the different tools to get where you want to go. (phone, email, social media, etc.) We all know that in sales things don’t always go as planned, and yes sometimes you get that old proverbial “bad bounce”. Calls don’t get returned, appointments get cancelled, budgets get cut, contracts don’t get signed on time. Yet you still need to figure out a way to recover.

Golf and Sales both require self-discipline, preparation, planning, and persistence. If you want to excel, not only do you need to play the game, you must practice constantly. The rewards don’t come with every shot, every hole or even every round. Sound familiar? Each will test your focus, temperament and resolve while requiring you to think strategically as well as creatively.

Golf, like sales is a constant test. Every hole has a series of obstacles that need to be overcome. In every sales campaign there are multiple obstacles that you will face. Golf tests your resolve, and your ability to overcome the bad shots, the bad luck bounces, and the wrong club choice. Is sales any different?

Golf, like sales is a funny game. It’s a game that can never be mastered. It requires planning, preparation and a desire to succeed.  You have to be motivated, committed, and generally enjoy what you are doing. Finally, remember that in golf and in sales, without proper follow through you will never be successful.

Thoughts and comments?

Categories: Sales

1 reply

  1. Bruce! What an awesome post! I have lots of golf content that I will be sharing in the future as well. There are so many similarities between golf and sales, and I am facinated by the mental side of both. I have to look no further than the many ups and downs that I face during any golf game that I play. I have a book for you and your readers to check out. It is called “A Golfer’s Mind”, but Dr. Bob Rotella. He has worked with many of the best golf stars past and present. it is all about golf, but his teachings draw many parallels for the sales profession as well! Thanks again…

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