Attention Sales World...Think And Act Like A Professional Golfer

sales leaders sales professionals Jan 24, 2021
“That’s why I’ve busted my butt on the range for hours on end and made changes to get to this point where I’m able to compete at the highest level in major championships. That’s where you want to be.” 
Tiger Woods

The sales community has a fascination with sports analogies. How many times are comparisons being made between sports athletes and salespeople?

Let's all stop and think for a moment... Can you imagine a professional athlete operating with a sales rep's mindset? Allow that one to sink in for a moment.

I believe sales is a lot like golf. At the core essence, it's an individualistic game. You’re on your own. There is no team to pick up the slack when you’re down, it is all you.

In golf, you play alongside or against other players, you have the support of a mentor or coach, but you’re really playing on your own. Does some of this remind you of sales?

Every day is a new day for a golfer, it's a fresh start. Does this remind you of sales? It doesn’t matter how successful they were yesterday or the day before.

There is no taking it easy, no resting on their laurels and no complacent mindset for a professional golfer. Oops, this doesn't sound like sales.

Your success is based on how you perform today

In golf, the approach to every situation is different. The courses are different, the conditions are different, there are obstacles requiring different strategies and different club or iron usage. Unpredictable conditions present things that are totally out of their control. Golfers can catch a bad break, get a bad bounce or bad lie as they have to deal with it and recover from it.

This sounds a bit like sales, doesn't it?

In sales, no two selling situations are alike. Your clients and buyers all have different needs and requirements. They present obstacles (objections) requiring different approaches, tactics and strategies.

We all know, in sales things don’t always go as planned, as sometimes you get the proverbial bad bounce. Calls don’t get returned, appointments get cancelled, budgets get cut and contracts don’t get signed on time.

However, you still need to figure out a way to recover and bounce back. No salesperson enjoys a bad experience, but the great ones learn from it, erase it from their mind and they move on.

“Every mistake that you make, you learn from it and you move on and you try to make sure that you don’t do it again.” 
Rory McIlroy


Those who consistently play great golf, have one thing in common - they work on their mindset. Wanting to play great golf is not enough. It is having the complete belief in themselves that they are capable of reaching the pinnacle, winning a major tournament.

As with a golfer, in order for you to achieve true success, you must limit your weaknesses, leverage your natural gifts, play to your strengths; to reach your full potential.

Success or failure is a driven by expectations and beliefs. Limited or negative thinking will produce a poor mindset which results in undesirable outcomes.

The space between your ears is a powerful predictor of success


Golf requires an extreme amount of self-discipline. It is all about preparation, planning, and perseverance.

If you want to excel in golf, not only do you need to play the game, but you must consistently practice. The rewards don’t come with every shot, every hole or even every round.

Any of this starting to sound familiar to you?

Each shot, each round, each day, will test their focus, temperament and will require them to think strategically.

"We create success or failure on the course primarily by our thoughts"
Gary Player


According to the United States Golf Association, a golfer is allowed to have 14 clubs in their golf bag. This may include three woods (driver, 3-wood and 5-wood), eight irons (3-9 iron), a pitching wedge and a putter. These are the 12 standards in a golf bag. They are allowed 2 more specialty clubs, rounding out to 14.

There is an old saying, "practice makes perfect" or "perfect practice makes for perfect play."

Here lies my concern with many of you in sales...

If a golfer has 14 clubs in their bag which are all designed to assist them in achieving success on the golf course, then my question to all those in sales...

How many tools are in your sales tool bag that you consistently use, practice and perfect in order to help improve your game?

Each club, iron, wedge and putter are designed for a specific purpose. In order for a golfer to achieve success on the golf course they must practice using each and every club in their golf bag.

Any of this hitting home? Are you starting to get it? How many of you are practicing on a daily basis your sales tools? Need I say any more?

A professional golfer knows how to use every club, iron, wedge and putter to the best of their ability, as they diligently practice with consistency.

Can the same be said for you?

How many hours per week are you practicing your sales game?

In order to consistently win requires practice. I encourage all of you to consistently practice removing these three things from your sales bag - Excuses, Ego and Fear.

  • Are you working on you? This means stretching your comfort zone.
  • Are you practicing pushing yourself and your abilities? Small steps every day reap gigantic rewards.
  • Are you practicing repeatably until it hurts? The best performers repeat their practice and do so at ridiculous lengths.
  • Are you committed to yourself enough to seek feedback and guidance? We all have unrecognizable blind spots. You can't improve if you don't know how you're doing.


Arnold Palmer once said, “It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.” 

The same can be said of you...

The more activity you put into your sales craft and workday, the better the results will be.

I believe selling is not about luck or chance, top salespeople may give the impression that it’s easy, but that has come from years of practice, and often many costly mistakes.

Here is the bottom line, you can’t shortcut the hard work needed to be successful in sales.

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