TO EARN well in business, core business teams and leaders must learn the basic fundamentals of their industry to out-think and out-perform competitors.

While I was at university, I learned the art of selling from my major mentor Tom Hopkins who was a sales super achiever by his early 20s, a multi-millionaire at 27 and a world-class training authority over the last four decades.

Knowing how to acquire information and transferring it into knowledge is vital to anyone in company front-line roles or key performance positions.

Fast learning is a key trait to success in sales. It is easy to fall into poor habits of skimming information or in learning organised systems or using knowledge that companies have created for sales and service teams.

Mr Hopkins taught me very early on to never take advice from anyone who knew less than I did or to learn from anyone who could not teach me the systems they used to achieve superior results.

I discovered from Mr Hopkins five core insights that helped me become Rookie of the Year in my first corporate sales position and earned me promotions in national major accounts and leadership positions by my mid-20s.

Superior learning systems make it easy to achieve superior performance that often leads to higher earnings and future leadership roles. Here are three of five important insights that are invaluable to boosting your sales.

1. IMPACT

Research has shown that we learn much faster when we are interested and curious about the subject matter. Teachers and mentors can influence this first step of the learning process by being well prepared and in sync with the information they are to teach in the learning phase to team members.

To learn well, new employees need to psychologically prepare for the experience. They must want to learn and it helps if they are in the best environment to support the learning phases or processes.

Each time a person sits down to learn, the impact of new material should have an emotional appeal that can be transferred into a new application and skill.

2. REPETITION

Repeat anything often enough and it becomes part of you. All great sales achievers I have met learned strategies and statements that worked and adapted them to their personalities over time.

After learning new information and moulding it into perfected statements, these people controlled when and how to use their knowledge at the right time to bring benefit to their clients, customers and company.

Saying proven statements with conviction brought new results. These students used the first step of the learning cycle and combined it with the second step to bring results and success to their roles.

3. UTILISATION

The basic law of possession is “use it or lose it”. Being in front of the right people who can make decisions about buying your products or services at the right time is vital to success in sales and service roles.

Learning all of your company offerings and how to present this information in an organised manner helps prospects and new customers understand the benefits of your offerings.

Champion sales achievers discover the “golden hours” in which their products and services sell best — then they schedule themselves to be in front of as many people as possible.

A retail experience

I recently went to a new hamburger restaurant that had opened in the plush setting of a downtown shopping mall. It was an interesting experience when the waiter asked me what kind of salad dressing I would like on my side salad. When I pointed out that the menu said the Caesar salad came with home-made Caesar salad dressing, he explained that he was new and only two days on the job.

I suggested he read the same menu he gave me moments earlier before asking customers for their orders.

I explained to the chain manager that my guest and I had enjoyed the food but were surprised by the poor product knowledge of the new staff member who had served us.

The manager took my suggestion to have written pop quizzes in at least five of the product offerings in the restaurant menu each day until the staff learnt all of them.

Next Tuesday: Learn about the last two steps of the learning process and how these five steps work together to help you out-think and out-sell competitors.