The Masters is next week, which got us thinking – many of the factors that contribute to a golfer’s success also lead to success in an ad sales presentation. So consider this, for a better golf game and more effective sales presentations:
1. Know the course – Every golf course is different and so is every prospect. There is no one-size-fits-all in golf or in ad sales. Familiarize yourself with the prospect’s industry. Know what’s going on in their company. Assess their needs and identify the benefits you can provide to fit those requirements before you pitch.
2. Remember that less is more – In golf, the winner is not only the one with the lowest score, but the one that is most comfortable in their game. In sales, presentations that are on point are most effective and more memorable than drawn out ones. You also tend to yield better returns with targeted leads versus being overloaded by disorganized/untargeted ones.
3. Define a specific strategy for each shot – In the same way that you can’t use a 9-iron in every situation, you can’t go into every meeting with the same sales pitch. Tailor your presentation to the prospect; what works for one won’t necessarily work for the other. Starting with a basic structure or template is fine, but personalize it for every prospect.
4. Swing hard (but not too hard) – There are times when it’s necessary to really go for it and there are times when a soft touch is all that’s needed. Show your interest, but don’t go over the top. No one like being barraged by over-correspondence or over-the-top (fake) enthusiasm. Coming on too strong will turn prospects off and turned-off prospects don’t spend money.
5. Hole in Ones are Rare – Even the best golfers rarely make it in on the first shot. It takes several tries to close the deal. Hang in there. Nurture those leads. Maintain relationships. Most of all, keep trying. Golf is a game of strategy and patience. So is ad sales.