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May 11-17, 1998

Learning on a Train Moving 150 mph

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

Last week we wrote about learning and practicing new language and skills.

"Hey, you must be joking," she wrote. "Do you really expect me to try out new things to improve my selling skills while I'm in the middle of making a presentation that will make or break my year?"

Well, not exactly. Don't experiment in the middle of a deal that will make or break your year. But, even though you're on a train that's moving 150 mph, you still need to find or make time to learn, practice, and grow in selling skills, or you'll find out downstream that you've been left at the station.

So, what about experienced salespeople? The ones who are already out there delivering the goods (making sales quota or goals)? How and where do you find the time to improve skills and techniques that will help you perform better and make more money?

Why make yourself uncomfortable in front of customers and prospects saying or doing something different that won't initially sound as good as what you've been saying for the last ten years?

Because that's the way out of mediocrity and into greatness in sales and selling, that's why. It's like golf. If you're going to correct that hook in your golf swing, you better be ready to spend a few rounds working on a new swing and accept playing 5 strokes over your ordinary game.

Learning new things and practicing them is the way to greatness or even "above average" performance in almost everything in life. Growth is an uncomfortable process at best and a downright painful process for most of us.

It is a lot easier in the short term to stumble through life with what we already know than step outside of our comfort zones to challenge ourselves with the new and the uncharted. And that more than any other reason is why sales excellence in people is so rare and average performance so common.

If your sales results are average and that's OK with you, then relax and enjoy yourself while you can. If it's not, then get uncomfortable and go out this week and learn and practice something new. That's the way to greatness.

Here is a recent "Sideline" link for practice: That with ahead go to like you would.

Have a wonderful week selling. And have some fun along the way.

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Sales Tip and Practice
Plan, plan, plan...

Plan out your sales growth and learning for the next 30 days. Make it easy on yourself. Start out doing one small thing a week for four weeks. Write the same activity into your daily planner for the next week. Following week, make it a new item for that week. Etc., etc. You're on your way. May you grow in your discomfort.

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