One of the questions we often ask when interviewing candidates for a sales position is “Do you consider yourself a continuous learner?” Of course everyone answers in the affirmative. The follow up questions often unveil very weak underlying examples.
Really good salespeople are always learning, always training and always looking for the latest trends. There are numerous ways to be continuous learner. Technology has given us podcasts and audio books allowing us to learn as we drive, jog or do other mundane tasks. If you haven’t subscribed to either podcasts or audio books I strongly suggest you do one, or both very soon.
Another way to learn more is to hang out with other successful salespeople. Casual conversation often uncovers what works for them may also work for you. You may find they call on a prospect you want to meet, but have been unsuccessful getting an appointment. Assuming they are non-competitive to your product or service, they can give you an introduction. Knowing other successful salespeople is energizing for you. If you are in a slump you want to surround yourself with high energy successful people. Put a network together.
Talk to the people within your organization, especially those that are successful. We sometimes forget one of the greatest assets available to us is the person selling in the territory next to ours. If your sales manage doesn’t provide a formal or informal opportunity for you to meet as a group, initiate the meeting yourself. These folks are already friendly (usually) and willing to share.
Here’s another wild and crazy idea. Get to know your competitors. Sometimes a cup of coffee, or a beer goes a long way. You never know when you may get a sudden opening at your company, or you may want to make a move. It’s nice to know someone “on the other side”.
Finally, always be looking for ways to pay it forward. If you find a great podcast, book, blog or other resource pass it along. Let others know you WANT them to be successful too. For example, forward this newsletter to someone you know. There’s a shameless plug, but it’s the way my subscriber list as grown to cover five continents.
Be a continuous learner!
Sales quote: “Success is not so much what we have as it is what we are.”