"Great athletes don't just show up for their games, they work out and practice constantly throughout their careers. Great musicians and opera singers do the same. Even accountants, nurses, and teachers must continue to train, forever furthering their educations to stay on top of developments in their professions. Why should a sales rep be any different?" says Michelle Nichols at Business Week.
If you want to earn more, you have to learn more. There are no shortcuts. There is no rationale in waiting for your employer to provide sales and industry training either. Your educational requirements are continuous. Your ongoing education is solely your responsibility. If your employer does not provide ongoing sales and specific industry training, then you must pursue it on your own. You must consider it an investment will pay both immediate and extended benefits, with a potential return on investment much higher than the norm.
"When I see a book that promises to improve my selling skills, I admit my first thought is that buying it will put me $25 in the hole. But then I remind myself that one good idea in those 200-or-so pages could help me make a sale and net a $1,000 commission. By that yardstick, I just made 4000% on my investment, which beats Wall Street's payouts any day" proclaims Nichols.
A down economy is a superb time to re-invest in yourself. Salespeople need to study methods and philosophies of successful entrepreneurs, business icons and sales experts to advance their success plan. An investment in yourself is always your best investment. Continuous education allows a salesperson to be positioned in front of the next wave of opportunity. Some call that being lucky. I say that the word luck is actually defined as that specific point in time where preparedness meets opportunity. Without training, the timing of that point may pass you by simply because you were not prepared to recognize it.
Your ongoing education allows helps position you properly with eyes and ears open and aware. Thorough preparation at all levels allows a salesperson to effectively operate and prosper, while experiencing less stress. Worry, fear, inconsistency, lack of account preparation, out of date industry knowledge, technical inability and poor sales planning all contribute to increased stress levels and poor performance. Continuous sales education minimizes these negative traits while elevating the importance of goal setting, developing an effective sales plan and learning effective interactive selling skills. Your need for such training is continuous. Your personal development must become a priority.
There are no shortcuts to sales success and personal fulfillment, yet the requirements for such are not at all complex. The formula is simple: Continuous Education = Prosperity.