Paul Azinger Golf Fundamentals:
Turn, Turn, Swoosh!
Mark Frasco - President & Founder
Last week, Paul Azinger returned to Inverness Club, the site of his only major championship, the 1993 PGA Championship.
He opened his speech sharing that he had not been back at Inverness since the day he hoisted the Wanemaker Trophy, suggesting that “Y’all better settle in. This could take a while.”
He held a short-game clinic the next day and talked about the fundamentals of the golf swing. Many think the grip is a fundamental, or the bending of the wrist at the top, but he said that they are not. It can’t be a fundamental if everyone in the Hall of Fame doesn’t do it.
He shared that there a multitude of grips in the Hall of Fame – ten-finger, interlock, overlap, strong, and weak. The grip cannot be fundamental to the golf swing. The same with the wrist.
Golf Fundamentals & the Five Fundamentals of Business Growth
This clinic got me thinking about business growth. What are the fundamentals of business growth in the business-to-business market segment? What are those things that every organization does so it successfully grows year after year?
It’s not social media, or email marketing, or networking; if it were, everyone would be doing it. It doesn’t mean that these things don’t work for some. It just means they are not fundamental to growing a business.
I don’t know if there is research on this topic, so I’ll “dabble in opinion,” as Azinger says about his putting philosophies.
Every organization I’ve worked in or with that grows successfully, long-term, share these fundamentals:
1) Best People
Attract, continuously develop, and retain the best people. About the only thing that comes close in importance to having the right people – those who have high levels of interaction with your prospects and customers – is the best process (next on my list).
The best people are situationally aware; they are emotionally intelligent, curious, lifelong learners and relentless about matching your solutions to a prospect’s needs.
It is required, but not sufficient for a sales professional to be an expert in their products or services only. They must also be experts in industries they work in, understand application nuances, and help the prospect with a solution that is specifically designed to their needs – one that is tightly fit.
2) Process Orientation
I’ve worked with organizations that have great people, but their business growth processes are ill-designed or nonexistent. Not surprisingly, they struggle.
Think of your accounting processes, your purchasing systems, your support systems – they are highly refined. Most feature thoughtfully considered best-practices, process flows, standard forms, and specific, required stages, deliverables or outcomes. Why is it that we allow our business growth processes to wobble through day after day?
The best people working in a process that features best practices are fundamental to successful business growth.
3) Knowledge Management
The best business growth systems feature a strong dose of knowledge management – a learning system. The key to building a competitive advantage in the market is to learn something you didn’t know before, and as rapidly as you can, apply that learning in the market to your unique advantage.
Top performing systems know how to gather, organize, analyze, and leverage (GOAL) information that helps them uniquely position (i.e., differentiate) their solutions.
4) Professional Persistence
I’m not sure you can grow a business successfully without a heavy dose of professional persistence. Buying systems are being bombarded with below-average touches. Your touches need to stand out as professional, helpful, and useful.
Assuming your solutions are a tight fit to a prospect, the only time to quit is when they tell you to; otherwise, stay in touch, keep teaching, continue to share your successes, and be sure to remind them specifically what about your solution will positively change for them.
Remember what Thomas Edison said: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
5) Ideal Customer Profile
The best business growth systems know and only work inside their ideal customer profile. They spend time analyzing their portfolio of customers and prospects and regularly test their fit against the solutions that they uniquely supply.
Every prospect or customer that is not a tight fit causes a leak of resources that are therefore not being applied to their most optimal outcome.
Conclusion: Turn, Turn Swoosh!
Azinger said every golfer in the Hall of Fame follows this one fundamental: turn, turn swoosh!
If you’re a right-handed player, the first move is to have the right, back button on your pants turn toward the target. Then on the downswing, have your left, back button move away from the target. Then, and only then, swoosh, let the club come through.
Turn, turn, swoosh! A fundamental to a good golf swing. Hit ’em straight.