Okay, one of my favorite topics is sales. Now I’m not one of these blowhards that tell you I started selling as a young boy and became an over night success. No, I missed that fast track! In fact, I had to learn how to sell. At first, I had no clue as to what I was doing, no plan, no guide, and most importantly – no understanding of how selling worked – selling well that is!
Then I attended programs at my first job – the banking industry – and we had a very aggressive business development priority. Now, I’m talking about bankers – some of whom felt selling was beneath them. I attended a required class (singular) and was told that I had to make three customer calls – face to face – every quarter! Talk about pressure – what you don’t know is amazing sometimes. Believe it or not I found my way into the top three for business development for several years. I now know this was a case of luck and really enjoying the customer interaction not selling skills or understanding the sales process.
I really did not understand selling until I went to a four day sales training program. It totally opened my eyes as to what could be and should be in the world of selling. I now had to learn how to sell well if I wanted to survive.
One of the key instructors also talked about the need for continuous learning. He referred to listening to tapes, reading sales books and other business books that related to things I wanted to understand. This was really a turning point in my sales career and professional career as a business advisor.
You can learn anything you need to know – if you use continuous learning. In fact, I will say everyday I learn something new. Then, with this new knowledge – you must apply it to gain new wisdom. Application is the key to your success – yet, learning about something is the starting point.
Here’s a key point: Always read a minimum of five books from five different authors on a subject. Why? Because everything we do is basically a process. Selling is a process. Buying is a process. To learn about a process you can read the different books and each author will emphasize a different part of the process. After you read five books – you have learned the process and can apply thought about the process subject and draw your own conclusions.
Now a word of caution: Some people feel that if they have read one book and like the content and the author – then this is all they have to do. In reality, this person has become a “follower” of the author and the author’s beliefs and thoughts. We lack insight as a follower. Be a sales leader not a follower and join the ranks of the sales superstar.
One last word: Sales is the most sophisticated job in an organization. You must be continuously learning about people, industries, companies, products, applications, leadership, strategy, finances, communication, persuasion, marketing, positioning, etc. This list goes on and on. Sales people must be curious about gaining knowledge and applied wisdom to become superstars. Start down the path today. Pick a topic and start learning today.
If you need assistance in what to learn or need a coach to keep you accountable to your goals – call us at 901-757-4434 and we can start you on your path to sales superstar. Ask for Voss – that’s me.