You like music and you probably have a favorite genre. Within that genre, you probably have a favorite artist or album. You may listen to an album by that artist dozens of times. By then, you know the music and lyrics perfectly.
You like movies and you probably have a favorite genre. Within that genre, you probably have a favorite actor or actress. There may be a movie you have watched many times over. By then, you have probably memorized all the lines.
Our son loves to act out the battle scenes from movies like The Chronicles of Narnia and First Knight. In order to perfect the timing of every line, movement and pratfall, he has probably watched and acted out the battle scenes more than 100 times each.
Professional Golfers go to the range and hit buckets of balls. Professional Baseball Players take marathon batting practice sessions and may field hundreds of balls every day.
Exposure and Repetition.
We're talking about Mastery of things you have a passion for.
Do you and your salespeople have a passion for sales? What is the thing you do that is equal to repeated listening, watching or practicing? What do you do to know your material cold? Do you attend training as often as you attend concerts, theater or movies? Do you listen to sales training as often as you listen to music? You should be getting exposed to the artist (sales expert) at least twice monthly and listening to their recordings (archives or supplemental material) even more often. In addition, you should be practicing (role playing like our son does) at least 30 minutes per day!
There are many sources of sales expertise. The differing methodologies are like genres and the sales experts in each genre are like the artists. You'll have a favorite or two whose style, examples, content or methodology work for you. But as with music, make sure that you also work with and listen to an expert who will push you out of your comfort zone. If you choose it simply because it reinforces what you already think or do, that's laziness. Everyone can improve. Even you!
If you've been reading my Blog for a while, you know that I write mostly about sales management functions and specific sales competencies. My own sales methodology, Baseline Selling, is a simplified, easy to apply form of Consultative Selling. As you poke around cyberspace you'll find experts and non-experts (be careful who you listen to) who write about relationship selling, transactional selling, inside sales, outside sales, major account sales, selling to big companies, telemarketing, retail selling, closing, prospecting, questioning and qualifying. Right here on my blog, from the tabs above, Frank's articles usually tell us how a leader from history was faced with challenges similar to those we face today. Rick usually writes about rainmaking, and Chris writes about client issues.
If you listen to the radio show I host, you'll be introduced to a different sales expert each week. Meet the Sales Experts is archived so you can listen to the various 45 minute episodes at your convenience.
I read a book about mastery around twenty years ago called, believe it or not, Mastery, by George Leonard. It's a book about how to master anything and it's well worth reading.
(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan