Inside the sales community, there’s quite a bit of comparison and analogies being made between sports athletes and sales reps. Heck, I even wrote about Can You Imagine A Professional Athlete Operating With A Sales Reps Mindset?


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. Yes, you might play alongside or against other players (sales competitors) and you might also have the support of a mentor or coach, but you’re really playing on your own. Sounds like sales?

Every day is a new day, a fresh start. It’s what you do today which really matters. Sounds like sales? It doesn’t matter how successful you were yesterday or the day before. There is no tenure, no taking it easy, no resting on your laurels and no complacent mindset. Oooopppps 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 even obstacles requiring different strategies and different tools (golf clubs). Unpredictable conditions present to golfers 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. In sales, no two selling situations are alike. Clients and prospects all have different needs and requirements with different objections requiring different approaches, tactics and strategies.

As a sales rep, you need to utilize all the different tools to get where you want to go, a sale. We all know in sales things don’t always go as planned and sometimes you get the old 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 as they move on to the next opportunity.


Professional golfers, who consistently play great golf, share one common element – they have the right mindset. Wanting to play great golf is not enough. It is about having complete belief that you are capable of playing the type of game you desire to reach the pinnacle, winning a major tournament.

As with a golfer, a sales rep in order to achieve true success, you must limit your weaknesses and leverage your natural gifts rounding them into championship form, to reach your full potential.

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

The space between your ears is a powerful predictor of success


Golf and sales both require extreme amounts of self-discipline. It is about the preparation to play, planning to play, and the steady perseverance in your actions. If you want to excel in golf and in sales, not only do you need to play the game, you must consistently practice. The rewards don’t come with every shot, every hole or even every round. Sound familiar to all the sales reps? Each shot, each round, each day, will test your focus, temperament and requires you to think strategically as well as creatively.


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 and pitching wedge) and a putter. These are the standard 12 clubs in many golf bags. They are allowed 2 more specialty clubs in rounding out to 14.

The old saying, “practice makes perfect” or “perfect practice makes for perfect play” rings loud and clear with the game of golf and in sales. Here lies the dilemma as I see it… 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 sales reps, sales leaders and those in executive management:

How many tools are in a sales reps tool bag that they consistently use, practice and perfect in order to help improve their game?

Each club, iron, wedge and putter is 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.

All of you in sales, are you starting to get it? Are you practicing using on a daily basis all the tools in your sales tool bag to help you drive more sales revenue?

Here lies the single biggest difference between golfers and sales reps. Golfers know how to use each and every club in their golf bag as they PRACTICE using each and every one with consistency. Can the same be said for most sales reps?

How many hours per week are you practicing?

  • How are you practicing on working on you that actually leads to improvement? This means stretching your comfort zone.
  • How are you practicing pushing yourself and your abilities? I challenge you all to find one thing you are doing poorly and create a plan to correct it. Small steps every day reap gigantic rewards.
  • How committed are you to practicing repeatable until it hurts? The best performers repeat their practice and do so at ridiculous lengths.
  • Are you committed to yourself enough to seek of feedback and guidance? We all have unrecognizable blind spots. You can’t improve if you don’t know how you’re doing.

In order to consistently win as a sales rep takes practice. I encourage all sales reps to consistently practice removing these three things from their sales bag – Excuses, Ego and Fear.

Yes! We’re Talking ’bout Practice… Yes, Sales Reps Need Stinking Practice!

I understand where you all are coming from. I have walked a day in a life of your shoes and still do on a daily basis.

I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow net-new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way!

In 2016, Larry was recognized by ENX Magazine, “The Difference Maker” as someone who is making a difference inside the copier channel. Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed in creating their online brand image

You can find more blog posts inside the Social Sales Academy website.

I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my LinkedIn stories. Integrating the use of LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive copier world. With great pride I transform, coach and inspire B2B Office Technology Sales Professionals to grow net new business by helping them tell their story and communicate integrating the use of social. My commitment is to help office technology dealers thrive in a changing marketplace. You can follow me on LinkedInTwitterSocial Sales Academy and on my podcast at Selling from the Heart.


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