Sweeping the Corners

A Kyle Phillips courseOn Saturday I had the pleasure of spending the entire day with Kyle Phillips, a great friend for the last 20 years. (I met him when I was selling in a new home sales office, by the way.) Kyle is one of the premier golf course architects in the world (www.kylephillips.com) and an all-around good guy.

At one point I was asking Kyle about golf course architecture and about some of the finer points regarding his very cool job. He pointed out that so much of what the architect does is unseen; the grading and shaping, irrigation, drainage, environmental sensitivity, etc. Everyone talks about the approach to the green or the placement of bunkers, and those elements are critical. But without the gritty work that goes on long before the sod is laid down, the course is a complete failure.

It’s often the stuff behind the scenes that makes all the difference.

Herm Edwards, former NFL coach, talks about the issue by suggesting that you have to “sweep the corners”. It’s not about how good a job you do in the obvious parts of the room – anyone can do that. You have to sweep the corners for the job to be done properly.

The author Gordon MacDonald (The Life God Blesses) talks about “building below the waterline”, making sure that the part of the ship that nobody sees is structurally sound.

Pick your analogy, but the fact remains that success is found in the grueling, gritty, dirty, inglorious, uncomfortable foundation-building part of our lives. It’s in the reading. It’s in the practicing. It’s in the extra prospecting phone calls that we don’t want to make, but we make them anyway. It’s in the training, and the shop tape review, and the brain-picking questions we ask of our peers in order to get better.

Want to make a difference? Embrace a discomfort today. Pick a corner and sweep it out. Do a little work on the hull of your ship.

Can I challenge you a bit further? Pick a discomfort – however small – and write it down in the blog response space below. Hold yourself accountable and encourage others around you.

  • This morning I’ll make calls to three people who have have moved into their homes some time this year, and I’ll ask them for referrals.
  • Today I will write a note to my superintendent and let him know I appreciate the great work he does.
  • This week I will pick one area of skill development – something small – and nail that down by practicing over and over and over again.

I’ll start: Today I’m going to watch two video shops with the purpose of finding at least five application points that I can pass along to other salespeople. For the record, my day is jammed and I’ve been procrastinating on this, but it’s important and I’m committing, so there!

Your turn. What corner will you sweep today? Sweep the corners, and you’ll change your little corner of the world!


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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.