Posted by: Bill Eckstrom, founder and president, EcSELL Institute
Argentina, Australia, Philippines, Canada and many other countries are in Lincoln this week. They are not here for sales leadership and sales coaching lessons and they certainly are not here to understand the difference between the art and science of sales. However, they are here in hopes of performing at a higher level.
The women’s Trans National Golf Tournament is being held about a “par five” away from the EcSELL Institute Offices. Over 160 female golfers are in town to compete for nothing more than a trophy and the recognition of having their name engraved. Or is there something more?
I had the opportunity to play in Saturday’s pro-am with three of them. My group consisted of a college player from California, a recent graduate from U.C. Davis and another young woman who plays for a school in Argentina. All are remarkable players with envious swings and putting strokes. It was humbling, yet exciting to participate with such amazing players and wonderful young women. As with everything that involves high performers, I watched and listened intently to pick up tips that reach way beyond bent grass greens and high tech equipment. They were there, subtle in message, but loud in application.
Passion and profession: The game is their passion and they hope to make it a profession. We are lucky, for we have a profession (are getting paid to do it) which should also be a passion.
Preparation time versus playing time: They practice hard in hopes of playing well which is backward from the sales management profession who spend most time “playing the game” and spend little to no time “practicing the game”.
Community versus you own team (company): Most all come from teams (companies) of some sort which is very important to their development, but when together at an event such as this the community aspect takes on a new life. Most all the players dine together, they play together, they learn from locals about the subtleties of each green or position in the fairway. As a result of competition they have a chance to elevate their game if they take time to learn from the entire golfing community, not just their team.
Adapt to the conditions: This course is tight, but short—massive old cotton wood trees and spruces line each fairway. Typical Nebraska windy conditions also require a different approach and if the heat and humidity kick in (which is in the forecast), they better be thinking beyond the golf swing and consider human physiology. They cannot all hit high draws and expect to do well. Keep the ball below the trees and out of the wind. Don’t hit driver as often, keep the ball in the middle and keep the Gatorade close by. Do you have a standard approach to working with each on your team or do you customize your game to get maximum results for each person?
Enough blogging for now, there is much to do before Wednesday which is when the match play begins. I made a deal with my playing partner, Bryana, that if she made the cut (top 64 golfers) to the match play rounds that I would come and caddie for her. After 18 holes with her I’m very confident I’ll be lugging clubs in 95 degree heat and 90% humidity come Wednesday. Hope she realizes I will learn more from her than she will from me. Perhaps she should get another caddie…
In the meantime, here is a great article on sales coaching titled "Connecting is the first step to coaching" Enjoy!