The Coaching Effect Blog

Sales Coaching Lessons from Golf T.V.

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

January 24, 2013

describe the imageDiscover what they naturally do well and let them continue doing that.  Find and fix one major issue and about five other improvements will fall into place.”

Sounds like a quote from someone like Zig Ziglar, Ken Blanchard or EcSELL’s own Sarah Wirth, right?  How about Butch Harmon, golf coach extraordinaire. 

Was channel flipping last night between the Australian Open tennis tourney and David Feherty doing a live show in Orlando.  Have to admit that once Feherty got rolling it was hard to push the “back” button on the remote that so drives my wife crazy (single greatest button on the remote—even better than the “power” button). 

Lee Trevino was the other guest on stage with Coach Harmon and they candidly shared stories, wisdom and advice.  They could have been speaking to a group of sales leaders as easily as they were to an audience of golf zealots.  I imagined them on stage at our Coaching Summits and how easily all they shared fit our profession.  A couple tidbits…

Regarding practice:  Trevino stated he used to hit over 1,000 balls each day, not counting the balls he hit chipping and putting.  He strongly insinuated that even the reputation of the hardest working player on tour today pales in comparison to his work ethic.

Sales leadership:  Remember to spend time on your own version of the driving range or putting green.  We know the vast preponderance of sales leaders state “they are too busy” to participate in continuing education or any practice that would improve their skill set.  I find this response interesting since research on “high performing” individuals and teams show they spend more time in development than their peers.

Regarding coaching:  Butch Harmon advised… ask questions, don’t try to fix too many things and look for what they do well as opposed to only focusing on what needs to be fixed. 

Sales leadership:  First step is to define the skills, activities and behaviors that lead to success (for both managers and reps), find what they do well and have them repeat it.  Next, pick one major opportunity for improvement and help them understand what can happen when it is fixed, show them how to fix it and provide feedback.  When done, “rinse and repeat”.  Lastly, document all the above in a consistent understandable format (if you don’t have one, ask someone on the EcSELL team). 

Opportunities for improvement envelop us all day; at work, at home with kids, in the gym and even on television.  Open your eyes, ears and shut your mouth except to ask questions.  Amazing how much we can grow with the right attitude. 

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