3 Keys to Continuous Learning in Selling
To earn more, you must learn more. You are “maxed out” today at your current level of knowledge and skill. You cannot get more or better results by simply working harder to apply your present abilities. If you want to earn more in the future, you must learn and apply new methods and techniques.
Continuous learning is like an ongoing mental fitness program for sales champions, where you prepare and keep yourself in shape for intense competition. This competition is what the field of professional selling really is to the highest paid people in the business.
There are three key parts of a continuous learning program in selling. Consistent, persistent work in these three areas will lead inevitably to your becoming one of the highest paid salespeople in your field, with no exceptions.
Leaders Are Readers
The first principle is simply for you to read continually in your field. Get up earlier each morning and read for one hour in selling. Put the newspaper aside. Leave the television off. Instead, read, underline and make notes in a good book on selling strategy and tactics. Look for practical ideas you can use immediately. Turn them over in your mind. Imagine using them in your sales activities. Then, throughout the day, practice what you learned in the morning.
Sometimes people ask me what books to read. The answer is simple. Begin by asking other top salespeople for their recommendations. Almost all top salespeople have their own collections of sales books. There are more than 4000 books on selling in print today, with 50 to 100 new books coming onto the market each year. Begin building your own collection today.
If you read in sales for one hour each day, that will amount to about one book per week. One book per week will add up to 50 books per year. Since the average salesperson reads less than one sales book per year, if you were to read 50 books per year, that alone will give you “the winning edge” that will move you to the top of your sales force.
Listen And Learn
The second part of continuous learning is for you to listen to audio programs in your car. Audio learning has been described as “the most important advance in education since the invention of the printing press.”
According to the University of Southern California, you can get the equivalent of full time university attendance by listening to educational audio programs as you drive from place to place. Turn your car into a learning machine, into a “university on wheels.” Enroll at automobile university and attend full time for the rest of your career.
When we were teenagers, we got into the habit of driving around with our friends and listening to music. We formed the association that driving around was for friends and fun. There are many adults who never get over this conditioned behavior. Instead, at a time of incredible competition, information explosion and obsolescence of knowledge, they are still floating through life, driving around, failing to take advantage of one of the very best learning methodologies ever discovered.
Don’t let this happen to you. Never let your car be running without educational audio programs playing. Make every minute count. One great idea or technique can change the course of your career, and dramatically increase your income.
Learn From The Experts
The third part of continuous learning is for you to take all the training you can get. Attend seminars and courses on professional selling. Ask advice from others on the most helpful courses they have taken. Be aggressive about seeking them out in your community, and be prepared to travel if necessary. Many of the top salespeople I know will fly hundreds and even thousands of miles to attend sales conferences. And the difference that it makes in their sales results is amazing.
My life, and the lives of many of the highest paid professionals I know, has been changed dramatically as the result of attending a single sales course, boot camp or seminar. Sometimes the ideas and strategies contained in one program has catapulted a person from rags to riches.
I have countless friends around the country and throughout the world who started off at the very bottom in selling and who are today earning hundreds of thousands of dollars per year as the result of continuous learning. And anything they have done, you can do as well.
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