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Success in Selling and Skeet Shooting is All About this One Thing

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Success Selling Skeet ShootingDuring my trip to Montana this year, I seemed to be able to conquer things I had not done in many years such as fly fishing (amazingly, I caught many fish) and horseback riding (amazingly, I stayed on the horse). So why could I not hit one of those pesky clays?

I really thought I’d be better at skeet shooting. I used to play competitive tennis, now I play decent golf (OK, my friends may differ on that opinion). I can catch a ball with one hand in flight – good eye-hand coordination. But it was this particular activity during my vacation in Montana last summer that inspired an epiphany: skeet shooting is just like selling.

Like a lightning bolt, I realized six ways skeet shooting is just like selling:

  1. You have to focus on the right things
  2. The target is always moving
  3. Nothing stays the same − you have to continually figure out what is changing
  4. Your set-up is crucial
  5. Sometimes you have beginner’s luck, but skill is required for ongoing success
  6. Your coach persistently helps you stay on track and motivates you to do better each and every time

Based on what I learned, I can say with confidence that both selling and skeet shooting are all about the fundamentals. The more we move away from the basics, the more trouble we tend to get into.

So, all I can say is, thank god I’m better at selling than skeet shooting! So, as you approach your next deal, remember: don’t bypass important steps. Stick to the basics.


Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

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