When professional golfers play major tournaments on international television with millions of spectators watching and their livelihoods on the line, the pressure is enormous. Yet these athletes make most of their shots look easy.

How do they do it? In a word: Practice.

Pro golfers stay calm under pressure because they’ve played hundreds of practice rounds. They’ve hit the ball thousands of times. They’ve seen most problems on the course before, and they remember what did and did not work when they addressed those problems in the past.

Sales professionals don’t have crowds clustered around the green or armchair coaches at home staring at their work when they seek to close the deal with a prospect. Yet they can feel the pressure all the same – and they can benefit from the same time spent practicing beforehand.

Before you walk into the room with a prospect:

  • Practice your “swing.” What are you going to say? What’s your sales process?
  • Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Which objections or stalls are they likely to raise? What is your plan for responding to these in a way that reassures your prospect that you understand and can address those concerns?
  • Build your tools. What is your objective on this sales call? What key questions will you ask to direct the call and keep the prospect on track?
  • Enlist assistance. Who can help you role play and prepare, so you get experience with tough situations before you must handle them with the deal on the line?

These are simple steps, yet statistics show that too many salespeople don’t implement them. The median amount that sales professionals spend on professional development in any year is a mere $20 – which means that many spend even less. Meanwhile, the handful who invest more money, time and attention are the ones awing their colleagues. They’re not only closing the tough deals, they’re making it look easy, because they’re prepared.

Like effective golfers, effective salespeople know their weaknesses and use their practice time to improve upon them. They also enlist the help of experienced coaches when necessary.

At Hahn Training, we focus on providing specific, concrete tools that sales professionals can use to improve their results right away. Contact us today to learn more.

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