Golfing Without a Good Swing Won’t Get You to the Tournament

WOA picSay you’re just learning how to golf. You’ve signed up for some sessions with a golf instructor. You’re ready to hit the green for the first time.

Would you wonder, When am I going to win a tournament?

Probably not.

Yet this is the mentality I see time and time again with new coaching clients. Instead of focusing on the skills they need to build to make a bigger revenue impact they wonder:

  • How quickly can we get in front of a client?
  • How quickly can we talk about our service or product with that client?
  • How quickly can we make a sale?

Often our first responsibility as account development coaches is to help them approach this process like learning a sport. Everybody wants to win a sporting event, but they have to build the skills first.

The Connection Process

Our coaching methodology is focused on account development – not just sales training. We train people how to make it all the way to the tournament, not just to win a few games along the way. Certain skills are critical to helping our clients get these sustainable results.

The Connection Process involves four steps that build four very important skills.

First we help people learn how to identify a Smart Client. This client will be open to leveraging your product or service – not just procuring it or hiring it.

The second big skill is learning how to connect with the right people in the organization. Not just connecting with the first person you meet, and not using a scattershot approach to conversation. Rather, hand-picking the people you can really align with.

Third we teach people how to start that conversation. And this NEVER starts with “Here is our product. This is how much it costs. Would you like to buy it?” No. We show you how to start the conversation in a much more creative way – a way that makes a real connection and produces long-term revenue.

Finally, we help people learn how to understand the client’s specific business and political issues. For example, in higher education there are typically 25-35 business and political issues that clients in that industry face. But every institution is going to be driven by a unique combination of those issues. We coach our clients to thin-slice what those issues are.

Issues are Not One-Size-Fits-All

This is another mistake I see people make a lot. They think every client in the same industry faces the same issues, and that if they understand that collection of issues (say, those 25-35 issues in the higher-education space), they understand every client.

They say, “You’re a community college. So you’re in the higher-education industry. So we understand you.”

Stop right there.

This is not the way that community college’s leadership team thinks. That’s not the way their organization works. They see themselves as different and unique. And they can’t just tell you what business and political issues make them different from a 4-year state university.

It’s your responsibility to discover their particular issues. And when you do, you’re set up for better conversation and more long-term results.

The Bottom Line

Slow down. Stop rushing to the tournament. Learning the skills is the most important part of the journey.

This isn’t about market research. It’s about learning what your clients are actually thinking about so you can connect with them for real engagement. That’s where you can create sustainable revenue.


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