“Sales is the highest paid hard work and the lowest paid easy work there is.” I had never heard such a bold statement before and it challenged my thinking about my professional career aspirations.
While I was at university in the United States, I learnt the art form of sales from my mentor Tom Hopkins. His quote helped me get hired before I graduated and also in becoming Rookie of the Year in my first year in sales within a worldwide multinational organisation.
Broke at 20, Mr Hopkins turned his life around to be an industry super sales achiever and multi-millionaire by 27. Today, he is among the world elite as a sales and management training authority with 16 international bestselling books to his credit.
Wanting to do well, I read his books and attended his and other authors’ workshops to acquire first-hand information and knowledge. I found that by learning and applying these basic principles to my industry, I was confidently able to out-think, out-sell, out-service and out-perform my competitors.
Knowing how to acquire information and transfer it into knowledge was fundamental to my improvement and increase in sales productivity.
Fast learning is a key trait of those successful in sales, service and leadership roles. Mr Hopkins taught me at an early age never to take advice from anyone who knew less than I did about a particular subject and not to learn from those who were not able to teach me the systems or ideas they used to achieve superior results.
I discovered five core learning insights that helped me get promoted into local, regional and national major account roles and then into leadership positions by my mid-20s. I quickly doubled and tripled my income.
Here are three of the five insights that can be invaluable to boosting your sales and earnings.
Research has shown we learn much faster when we are interested and curious about a topic. Teachers and mentors can influence this first step of the learning process by being well prepared and in sync with the information they are teaching and imparting to others in a vibrant style.
To learn well, people need to psychologically prepare for the experience. It helps if they are in an environment or culture that supports the learning phase and process. The impact of new material should have an emotional appeal that can be adapted into an improved skill for the learner.
Repeat anything often enough and it will become a part of you. All great sales and service achievers I have met learnt strategies and ideas that worked and then incorporated them into their personalities.
Saying proven statements with conviction and at the right time will bring new results. By using the first step of the learning cycle and then combining it with the second step, a new confidence will arise within anyone willing to try it.
The basic law of possession is “use it or lose it”. Learn all of your company offerings and how to present them in an organised yet engaging manner. This will help your customers and clients to understand the benefits of your offering so they can make a good decision.
By planning and using their time well, sales and service achievers discover the golden hours in which their products and services can sell best. By scheduling themselves well and by being in front of as many people as possible, they increase their productivity, sales and earnings incrementally.