11 Famous Golf Quotes to Improve Your Sales Game

April 25, 2022
11 Famous Golf Quotes to Improve your Sales Game

You are not as good as you think, is a phrase that whispers in my head after a round of golf. Sales is a lot like golf. The more you practice it, the more you realize how much there is to learn. And just like with golf, we also keep score and measure our sales metrics and KPIs. If the numbers are not what we like, both golf and sales can be a humbling experience. In this article we explore famous golf quotes and how they can be applied to improve your sales game. 

“The most important shot in golf is the next one.”
Ben Hogan

Sales Meaning: In sales, it is critical to be as detached as possible from past results and future expectations. Don’t allow emotions to interfere with your performance. When you are focused on your “next shot,” you give yourself the best opportunity for success. To reach your greatest potential, set your sights on a target, and visualize success. Remove expectations, concentrate on the process, accept the outcome, and focus on making your “next shot” your best shot.

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.
Arnold Palmer

Sales Meaning: There is an inner game to sales that requires confidence and hunger. The most successful salespeople have that combination. Some people might call it a drive to succeed. Whatever you call it, concentration is a key ingredient for success. Just like on the golf course there are obstacles one should avoid. Concentration is the key to avoiding distractions. 

I never learned anything from a match that I won.
Bobby Jones

Sales Meaning: Losing a sale is an opportunity to grow. If you’ve ever lost a big sale, you question everything you said and did. You say to yourself, “If I had just done this, I could have won the business.” Reflection on the deals you lose is key to improving your sales outcomes. We are never going to win 100% of the opportunities we have, but we can learn from every opportunity, win or lose. Understand that failure is a part of sales. This means you can lose a deal, but the lesson you will remember forever.

A good golfer has the determination to win and the patience to wait for the breaks.
Gary Player

Sales Meaning: Patience is not a word often associated with selling, after all, time is money. But if you have ever rushed a deal and lowered your price at the prospect’s first objection, you have left money on the table. There are profits in patience. In sales, like golf, you can’t win the tournament on the first hole, but you can lose it. Patience teaches you that in sales. Things will be difficult until they become easy. The only thing created when an impatient salesperson rushes to close a deal is an annoyed prospect. 

Don’t be too proud to take lessons. I’m not.
Jack Nicklaus

Sales Meaning: The best players in all sports have coaches and Jack Nicklaus was no exception. We all want to get better, but some of us are too proud to ask for help. Overcoming pride is about being humble enough to ask for help. Having a sales coach is a way to cultivate healthy self-awareness. One of the hardest lessons to learn in sales is when to ask for help. If you have always wanted to get better at sales but didn’t know who to ask, we can help.

Every shot counts. The three-foot putt is as important as the 300-yard drive.
Henry Cotton

Sales Meaning: Every lead counts and every day counts. In other words, an opportunity can be lost before it even begins. Have you heard the story of the car salesman who pre-judged a prospect and lost a big sale? What about the salesperson who took Friday off and the company closed the biggest deal in their history? Every day counts in sales, just like every swing counts in golf. 

If you focus only on the target, you’ll play darn good golf.”
Dr. Bob Rotella

Sales Meaning: In sales, you can’t control the outcomes or results. You can only control your attitude and your behavior. Salespeople and golfers run into trouble when they start focusing on things they can’t control. You can’t control your competitors or the economy, so focus on what you can control. If you can’t control it, don’t focus on it. If you focus solely on things you can control you will become darn good at sales.

The greatest thing about tomorrow is I will be better than I am today.”
Tiger Woods

Sales Meaning: Get better every day. Even if we are the Tiger Woods of sales, we can improve 1% each day. We can read a book, take a course, or enroll in a class. But over time, a little improvement every day will produce big results. Don’t look for the big gain instantly. Instead, focus on getting better one day at a time. Sales, like golf, is a process of continual improvement.

Golf is 90 percent inspiration and 10 percent perspiration.”
Johnny Miller

Sales Meaning: When you play a round of golf, the actual amount of time you spend hitting the golf ball is very limited. That is the 10% perspiration. The other 90% is getting ready for your next shot. In sales, most of our time is spent on non-sales activities. How we handle this time is key to our sales success. Time spent not in front of a qualified prospect like traveling, training, and with inside sales reps’ coffee breaks, are all activities that can be performed with intention and focus. How you handle the non-sales activities will either build sales momentum or cut into your opportunity creation.

Forget your opponents. Always play against par.”
Sam Snead

Sales Meaning: In sales, your goals should be the guiding force behind your actions, not your opponents. Giving too much mental focus to your opponents can create sales anxiety. We are not saying to ignore your competitors. In fact, you should do your research and be aware of the market. But if you are obsessed with your opponents, you are not focused on what matters most–your customers. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon said it best, “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out alright.”

Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.”
David Forgan

Sales Meaning: No one plans to fail at sales. All salespeople want to succeed, but those that struggle lack the understanding of how to achieve their goals. Selling like golf is a science that follows the laws of cause and effect. Here at Janek, we’ve dedicated ourselves to teaching the science of sales. If you fail to understand the science of sales, you can exhaust yourself and your prospects.  

In Conclusion

You don’t need to be a PGA golfer to realize the similarities between golf and sales. The focus, drive, and mindset to succeed on the course will help salespeople improve their sales performance. Like golf, sales is a contact sport. If you want to be the best, you need to train and work on continuous improvement. There’s no maintenance in sales or golf, you are either getting better or falling behind.