When you ask people about their golf handicaps, what they say may depend quite a bit on who’s asking and when the next outing is. Sometimes golfers brag about their handicaps as scratch, or a low single digit number when they want to impress someone. However, if they’re about to play, their handicap can range well into the double digits. This gives them a better chance to take home a few bucks in a friendly wager.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a handicap system to determine the ability of a salesperson? Employers would love that. (Shameless plug here: At Sales Concepts we do have some tools to help.) If only there could be an objective way to determine the sales handicap. The sales handicap would reflect how well a salesperson: closes, overcomes objections, services accounts, finds new customers, and understands the buying process and personnel involved in the decision to purchase a product or service.
One way to lower your golf handicap is to take lessons. An instructor helps you understand that you’ll need to close the face of the club upon impact to cure your slice. You learn to use the correct club for a 100-yard shot to the green from the rough versus the same distance from the fairway. Improving your game can simply be a matter of using the right technique or club to lower your handicap. Improving your game is a constant journey. Professional golfers are always tinkering with different strokes, working with coaches, and taking lessons to keep them winning tournaments.
Just as golfers of all skill levels practice and take lessons to improve their game, we as salespeople need to practice and take lessons to improve our selling skills. Just like professional golfers (seasoned, as well as those less experienced) we need to continuously improve our abilities to win business. Resting on our laurels only puts rust on our selling skills. We need to refresh our sales game by practicing the fundamentals that made us successful in the first place. Anything less puts us way down the list in terms of wins.
Hopefully you are continuously reviewing and improving your selling skills. What books have you read lately about your craft? What web sites do you visit? What do you listen to in your car? Who do you follow on the Internet? Do you need to get out to the “driving range” and brush up? Avoid bad habits. Make sure you are keeping ahead of your competitors on the playing field. We stand ready to help.