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Three Sales Lessons from Tiger Woods’ Stunning Comeback

Tiger Wood’s victory at the recent Master’s golf tournament was stunning in several aspects – that he could pull off a win after an 11-year drought in the majors – the longest drought in PGA history; and that the world was actually cheering for Tiger to prevail. Ten years ago, it was a very different story when Tiger’s career, marriage, and reputation were in ruins. And yet on Sunday, where the world was…teary-eyed and joyful, celebrating right along with him.

The how and why of Tiger’s unlikely triumph provides key lessons for sales success:

1. Tenacity and focus pay off – It’s hard to imagine working at something for 11 years without success and not giving up, but that is exactly what Tiger did. He is a testament to the concepts of tenacity and focus. He put his head down, focused on the task at hand and got to work. He worked through injury. He worked through the pain. He worked through public disapproval. He worked without complaining.

2. Continuous improvement and exploration – Golf experts could point to specific changes in equipment, form, and practice that contributed to Tiger’s comeback. The great takeaway for sales professionals is Tiger’s willingness to continually challenge the status quo and try new things. In a world where changing one’s mind or changing direction is often considered “weak” or “flaky,” Tiger Woods kept his mind open to new information, new technology and new practices that could improve his performance. We could all benefit from that mindset.

3. Everybody loves a good comeback story – including your customers. It may feel intuitive to put on a brave face when we experience failure, pretending that it didn’t happen, or it didn’t hurt. But there can also be a benefit to candor – owning your failures and mistakes, and letting your customers know you are not giving up; that you will keep working to provide value, earn their confidence and their business. They might just appreciate your tenacity the way the world loves Tiger’s grit.

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