He Went To Jareds; AND Plays a Titleist!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 22, 2017
I just read a most remarkable book, Selling Things by Orisin Swett Marden https://www.amazon.com/Selling-Things-Timeless-Wisdom-Collection-ebook/dp/B00FO6WUA8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487778450&sr=8-1&keywords=Marden+selling+things. The book was written in 1916 (you can purchase it for just 99 Cents as a Kindle version on Amazon.com). I have read over 1000 books and articles on sales and motivation and was shocked to read the words and passages in this book that I have seen entire books written on. One such example was how Marden described the effort put into making water boil at 212 degrees and how so many salespeople work and work and get their “water” to 211 or less and then wonder why their sales career has stalled; when it would take but one more degree of effort to get the water boiling; thus creating steam that could drive huge locomotives. Sound familiar? Remember this was written in 1916.
Chapter 20 of Marden’s book, titled A Salesman’s Clothes struck a chord with me when he wrote, “The consciousness of being well and fittingly dressed has a magic power in unlocking the tongue and increasing the power of expression.” He continued, “In differentiating the essentials of success in selling,” a specialty expert said, “I find that when I am in prime condition physically, and am well dressed, so that I do not have to think about myself or my clothing, I can put up a much better canvass, because I can concentrate on my mind with greater force.”
In a letter to his home office, a rising young sales man wrote, “To me there is a great mystery in the influence of good clothes. Somehow I think more of myself when I am conscious that I am well groomed, well dressed, and I can approach people with much more confidence.”
This got me thinking about of all things the game of golf, especially the word “confidence.” Why you might ask? It is because of the golf ball used in the game of golf.
I asked a good friend, an exceptional golfer and a Professional Golf Professional what kind of golf ball he played? He said, “Whatever I find.” That means that as he plays a round of golf, he typically finds golf balls that other players have lost and those are the golf balls he uses to play his game. Not quite the answer I was expecting.
How many different kinds and/or brands of golf balls are there; hundreds if not thousands. One brand, let’s use Titleist, has several models all using the Titleist name. Same with Nike, Callaway, Wilson and the list goes on.
The critical differentiation is whether the player is an amateur or a professional golfer. Does it make a difference what type of golf ball an amateur golfer uses? I sincerely doubt it. A golf ball is designed using science to exact from the golf ball the maximum spin, distance and control that a professional golfer can impact upon the golf ball and from that the professional golfer expects a certain degree of accuracy not just from the golfer’s personal skill level but also from the equipment he or she uses PLUS the physical qualities of the golf ball. To a professional golfer it makes a difference what type and manufacturer golf ball he or she uses. It could and does mean money in their bank accounts; it is that crucial.
To an amateur golfer I seriously doubt it makes much of a difference what type or model golf ball he or she uses, it just isn’t that critical; the quality of their swing and game is what makes the difference. Amateurs, except for the occasional side wage, do not play for money as professionals do. Amateurs rarely actually practice their golf game, certainly not like professionals and it shows in their results or lack thereof.
What does matter to both amateur and professional golfers is what they are visually looking at as they get ready to hit their golf balls. A great many Amateurs actually do play whatever they can find or whatever someone gave them as a gift. So when they look down at their golf ball in preparation for the next shot, they may be looking at a shiny new white/yellow/pink golf ball or more likely they are looking down at a scuffed up white golf ball that someone may have been using for quite some time. A golf professional would never do such a thing. A professional would be always looking at a brand new golf ball in mint condition; top-of-the-line.
Does it really matter if a golf ball is brand new and in mint condition for it to perform at its maximum capability? Not really. But the perception is that it does matter. That is why professionals change out the ball they use quite regularly just like collegiate and major league baseball teams change out the baseballs they use once they are hit by a batter or even if the ball hits the ground and picks up some dirt marks. As Spock from Star Trek would say, “It is illogical!” But is it?
From my own experience I have learned that when you look down at a dirty, scuffed up golf ball as you prepare to hit it, there is a section of your subconscious mind that is reminding you that it is okay if you lose this golf ball or hit it into the water to be lost forever because it is dirty, it is scuffed up, it has been used, and you paid little or nothing for it. Therefore it really doesn’t matter what kind of golf shot you hit. Another side of both your conscious mind and your subconscious mind is forever telling you that you want to and expect to hit nothing but good golf shots and that equates to shooting a good round of golf. How can you have it both ways? On one hand it is okay to hit dirty, scuffed, previously used golf balls because the ball may be lost while on the other hand you expect to do well and NOT lose the golf balls you use. My advice would be to remove that one measure of doubt from your mind and hit a new golf ball. True you may not weigh the cost of a new ball versus the minimal cost if any of using a previously used golf ball. It really comes down to creating a degree of confidence, there’s that word, in your own ability to get the job done whether it is golf, sales or painting a house. What will give you the best chance of succeeding? Having confidence is HUGE! Practicing before you attempt something is also huge!
I have also learned that to excel in any sport or actually any endeavor like sales, you must remove as many variables as possible and that will increase your chance of succeeding in whatever you are attempting to do. If you have the right tools, the right training, the right words to use, if you dress for success and you have the right attitude, the world is just waiting to witness your success. It is like a six-shot revolver. You have weapons (tools) in the form of 6 bullets you can use to hit your target. If you remove just one, you reduce the likelihood of hitting your target by almost 17 percent. Obviously going into a golf game or a sale, a battle would be a very different situation with different potential outcomes but the point is that you want all the ammunition you have available to you no matter what you are attempting to do; you want a full chamber of shells. You may discover it only takes one but you want all 6 nonetheless. Why would you not want them all? Anything less than a full chamber of shells is foolishness. It would be like playing cards with the Aces removed from the deck.
If you watch any of the Professional Golf Tournaments you will see golf ball advertisements for Titleist Golf Balls. There are typically 144 golfers at any given event. Titleist is the predominant golf ball used by these professionals to where Titleist can make the claim that of the 144 starters, 130 or some other number use a Titleist Golf Ball. That is impressive! Why so many? Three reasons. First, Titleist, like all golf ball manufacturers, spends a lot of money on research to create a golf ball that will produce the expected results professionals seek to achieve. Secondly, there is safety in numbers. When so many use one type of golf ball, others “believe” there is a valid reason and they too should be using the same ball/equipment. Third, Titleist has been very successful promoting the fact or belief that “they are the best” and as such, Titleist enjoys a very profitable relationship with Professional (and Amateur) golf. As such they have the money (profits) to spend to promote their products and that INCLUDES paying professional golfers (sponsorships) to use their golf balls and wear their logo clothing. It is a process that feeds itself to become even more successful.
So what can sales people learn from this process?
- Image matters
- Practice pays
- Dress the part, look the part, and play the part
- Don’t settle for scuffed up equipment, image matters consciously and subconsciously
But there is more, a lot more, at least in my opinion. Most professional golfers can be seen throughout a televised golf tournament wearing the Titleist Brand Golf Hat. So if 130 out of 144 golfers are wearing Titleist hats, the entire world is very conscious of that fact. That sells more Titleist golf balls does it not or at least it creates the desire to play what the pros play does it not? It does and you know it does. It is very much like what happened within the jewelry industry. Who ever heard of the jewelry company Jared several years ago? But then something remarkable happened. “He went to Jared’s!” That is all it took for the industry to completely turn around and Jared became the “go to” jewelry store of choice. Who did not want a gift box that read “Jared’s” on it? Who did not want a golf hat or golf ball that read Titleist?
So to all my fellow sales people I must ask the question, if branding is so vitally important in sales and we all know it is, why have so few sales people not taken advantage of their company name like a Titleist or a Jared has? When was the last time you saw any salesperson outside of the service industries like plumbing, carpentry, electricians wearing their company colors and logos on sales calls? If you believe as I do that you MUST have the best tools available to you, would you not be working at the best company for that to happen? IF you ARE working at the best company, why are you not promoting that fact just like golfers promote Titleist and husbands around the country want that box that reads Jared’s? It makes a difference! Why are you not using it to your advantage? I have been in sales for over 33 years and this one discrepancy has befuddled me for all of those 33 years.
Why do people want to be seen driving a Lexus? A Cadillac? A Lincoln? Why do people want to be seen wearing a Rolex watch? Why do people want to be seen wearing a Titleist hat or giving a gift in a Jared’s box? They want people to know they have chosen products perceived to be the best. Who wants second best? Do you think you customers want second best?
Want more reasons to wear your company colors/logos?
- Items are tax deductible
- Cleaning of the items is tax deductible
- You don’t have to have an endless wardrobe of clothing to choose from to “look different” every day none of which would be tax deductible without the logos
- You are creating visual images of you and what you are selling – you are advertising
- Advertising and Marketing create sales
- Sales creates income
- Income puts food on the table
- Food provides nourishment and energy to make more income
- Income pays the bills!!!!!
If you do not have enough pride and belief that you are working for the best company and selling the best product or service that meets YOUR CUSTOMERS desires and needs, maybe it is time to change companies, change products and/or change the service you are attempting to sell. The easiest way to resolve that issue is with a question:
Would YOU buy the product or service you are selling with the understanding it is or should be in YOUR best interest to do so?
If not? What are you doing to change the premise?
What’s in YOUR golf bag?
If you can obtain a Jared’s jewelry box large enough to hold a golf ball (you may have to buy something to do so), you have a priceless sales tool. Early in your sales presentation, pull out the Jared’s box. That would get people’s attention. Explain how people “go to Jared’s” for perceivably the “best” jewelry on the planet. Open the box and show them the Titleist Golf Ball, preferably a Pro-V1 (top-of-the-line model). Explain how the best professional golfers use the best golf ball to win. Then explain how when they, the customer, chooses you, the product you sell and/or the service you provide, they are choosing the best in the best and ask them why they would ever expect anything less to meet their desires and goals. PRICELESS!
Did you notice? Branding?
- Titelist – golf ball
- Jared – jewelry
- “What in your golf bag?” spin off on the Capital One Credit Card Ad
- Priceless! Mastercard
What are you doing to capitalize on the tools you have available to you?