Written By: Ken Thoreson
Mental Side of Sales
I read a quote once supposedly by Jack Nicklaus: “Golf is 80% above the shoulders.” And as a bogey golfer I have come to totally appreciate that comment and admittedly it is a problem for me. I asked Jim West, our Director of Golf, what his recommendation would be for a book or video on the mental side of golf. He quickly suggested The Golfer’s Mind, Play to Play Great, by Dr. Bob Rotella. I found it on Barnes & Noble and four days later it arrived. On the plane to Seattle Sunday morning I read about three quarters of the book. It’s an easy read with “ah-ha’s” throughout the book. It has great idea’s, practical suggestions and stories of his client’s, the Pro’s we see on TV, the battles they face and philosophies they use to maintain their mental focus for 72 holes.
Improve Your Professional Success
In reflecting on Dr. Bob’s recommendations, it is easy to translate the same thoughts to our world of sales and sales leadership. There are 29 short chapters in his book. The first chapter is “A Golfing Philosophy.” So, what is your sales philosophy? Mine is “If it isn’t fun, it isn’t selling.” The author describes the need to relax and enjoy the challenges that golf brings and the importance of controlling the mind at all times. In sales we have peaks and valleys, successes and failures as professionals; you must work to control your subconscious mind-feeding positives, and not become distracted on the golf course or during a sales process.
Goals and Dreams is another chapter. Dr. Bob breaks down the reality of goals vs dreams, they are actually different elements to success. In my keynote I speak to the concept of dreams and goals and the fact there are no unrealistic dreams, only unrealistic timelines. In sales, we must set our dreams and then specific tactical goals that will help us achieve the dreams. Setting Your Target is another chapter and in this work he describes clearly focusing on where you want the ball to land, finding a very specific detailed spot such as a tree, a three-foot spot of fairway, the back of the hole before you putt and then letting the relaxed body execute. Having a specific planned objective for every sales call becomes critical and then relaxing to reduce tension allows the professional to achieve meaningful conversations.
As you can see there are so many common elements between sales and golf. Some of the other chapters are: Planning for Success, Trust, Practicing to Play Great, Setbacks, and Building Rhythm of the Game to simply name a few more…
What’s the bottom line?
As professionals we must commit (another chapter) to excellence and one important aspect is being mentally strong and prepared to win. What will you do this week to improve your professional success? Buy the book for each person on you sales team?
It will improve your golf game as well.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the…
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