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SalesLinks Bulletin Archive

Aug 31-Sep 6, 1998

Check Your Ego at the Classroom Door

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

Scott Peck, in his brilliant book on personal development and growth, The Road Less Travelled, writes about the "temporary giving up of the self as an absolute requirement for learning during adulthood."

It's what I call "coming empty" to sales training and is one of the most difficult things that salespeople have to learn. Most never make the grade; they come to sales training with the attitude that they already know most of what there is to know about sales and selling. You may hear them say, "Maybe one or two points will be made that will be new to me." (Interpretation: "I will reinforce or confirm my own point of view.")

And guess what? Surprise! They find almost exactly what they expected—nothing much that would help or advance them by any measurable amount.

Why this know-it-all attitude seems more prevalent in sales than in other areas of business is beyond me. But it is..., even though the people who blast off to an entirely new level of sales proficiency are experienced, skilled, high-performing people who do "come empty." They soak it all up like a sponge, welcoming the opportunity to go to an entirely different dimension in their practice.

Moral of the story: check your ego at the classroom door. The best salespeople usually do.

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Sales Tip and Practice
The next time you attend a seminar or a sales training event, make a conscious decision going in that you don't know a thing about sales and selling. Come empty, listen, and—when the event is over—make a conscious effort to implement what you have learned through disciplined, steady practice.

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