To Improve (Lesson 10)
“Hit the ball on the left-hand side of the middle of the club and you’ll never throw it to the right, hook or slice it,” he explained.
Thinking about my own golf game, I realized how much sense it made and how it seems pretty obvious, but this champion golfer had needed somebody to give him that advice.
I sometimes have trouble with the bunkers: those large pits of sand that are around many of the putting greens at the end of the hole. I’m sure that if I spent an hour with a coach, they could give me tips to improve my swing to get out of the bunker in one shot.
Now, without the help of a coach, it sometimes takes me a couple shots, and on my worst attempts, the ball hits the side and ends up going backward. In golf, just like in business, you never want to be moving backward.
An Extra Pair Of Eyes Never Hurts
I’m lucky in that aside from a rough day here or there, I have thoroughly enjoyed my career as both a sales rep and a sales manager. The challenges, problem solving and helping clients were a perfect mix for me.
Now, working as a business strategist and advisor, I have found those same challenges facing me every day as I assist clients in a different way. It wasn’t until I began this line of work that I really appreciated how many sides of the sales cycle I participated in and feel as if I mastered.
While everyone’s individual experience can be a great teacher, I found that during my career, I made some of my biggest strides when I had a confidante who was able to teach and mentor me in ways that I hadn’t considered.
There is nobody that knows it all, so to simply rely on only your own experience to make decisions and draw conclusions seems reckless to me. I understand there’s a pride factor involved with a lot of people, especially multi-generational business owners, but I know that I wouldn’t have been able to excel if it weren’t for the people who offered advice along the way.
The reality is that the world is moving faster than ever before, especially in business, where technology seems to change on cycles of months instead of years, like when I began. Keeping up to date with how things are changing is a new job requirement unto itself, and having an advisor who can help evaluate how to best use your time is handy.
Making The Smart Move
Ask yourself a question: Why are you reading this article? Is it because you don’t need the trained expertise of somebody who has been there? My guess is that things aren’t going the way that you want them to and what you’ve been doing in the past hasn’t brought you to the goals you want to meet.
As I’ve mentioned several times throughout this series of articles, sales is far more strategic thinking than tactical action. When you utilize an independent expert from outside of your company, you’re getting someone with a fresh set of eyes who can take a look at the bigger picture in a way that you perhaps are not able to from the inside.
You’re going to need somebody who not only understands everybody’s roles from a strategic standpoint, but also from the client’s standpoint of being able to understand why they would or would not consider paying multimillion-dollar price tags for your solution. Understanding why a deal stalls and how to move it forward is something that needs to be ingrained in every elite sales rep and their managers. It’s a skill that I bring to the table.