I am continually inspired by the quote in this image (right). The man who painted one of the worlds most iconic and beautiful buildings still feels at the ripe old age of 87 that he can learn something.
It is not just iconic painters who feel like they need to learn. You will see another quote from one of the worlds richest men Warren Buffett at the end of the blog which says the same thing!
The most successful people in the world have a hunger and desire to continually learn and if you want to be successful in sales and achieve success as a CEO with your sales team then you have to build a learning mentality.
Here are 8 reasons why it is so essential to keep learning in sales if you want to achieve consistent sales success:
It is so important to keep learning in sales because the world is moving at an incredible pace and is changing every day. Everyday I see a new technology or innovation idea shared which makes me gasp and which solves a problem that many have struggled with for ages.
What is current in 2018 will be out of date in 2020 and whilst many of the core elements of sales will always be constant, the way in which businesses and consumers buy will continue to change as technology evolves. Learning about new ideas, tools and ways of working allows you to stay on top of your industry and show knowledge to your prospect. The pace of change is accelerating and will continue to do so. Learning allows you to keep abreast of what is new and use what is useful and relevant within your sales approach.
When you make a commitment to learning in sales and developing yourself, you not only open your mind, but you also open yourself up to meeting new and interesting people who share a similar passion as you.
Attending new courses gives you a chance to meet other like-minded people who may be potential customers or who may be able to help introduce you to others they know. There are now plenty of online learning platforms and tools which also allow you to connect with others electronically so you can learn from them as well as the experts themselves.
Surrounding yourself with people who have a similar mindset as yourself also builds your motivation and self-belief which is the bedrock on which all consistent sales success is achieved.
Learning anything new is a challenge but the best sales and business people know that taking on these challenges builds up your resilience which is a key skill everyone in sales needs to develop. If we stopped doing something with every rejection we received in sales, we would never get anywhere, and learning is the same. Its unlikely that in the development of any new skill or craft that you will get it right first time but with good teaching and regular practice you can improve, get better and achieve the results you desire. By continually learning in sales you build up your resilience and it is this resilience which is vital for new prospecting or introducing yourself to someone new when we know on average that we will get rejected more than we get success.
Learning helps us not only develop our skills but develop our mindset and character which are the core assets which all successful sales people have.
I gave a training session to a company last week which was the 2nd sales training session I had given to the group. Part way through the session, one of the ladies on the course mentioned that she had used an objection response that we had discussed in our first session and that it had worked which made her stand up and punch the air! She felt amazing to have learnt something new and then been able to use it to get a sales result.
When we learn new skills (such as an objection framework in this case) it makes us feel good and feel like a winner! When you were a child and you finally learned how to ride your bike without stabilisers it made you feel great and the feeling is no different as you get older!
When we master a new skill that we have learned and then get results with it, we feel good and this feeling of winning is one we want more of. The best sales people love winning and love seeing a new plan achieve results. It makes them feel good and the winning habit is one you want to continually develop!
Whilst the best sales people love the feeling of winning, the best sales people are also able to show humility. Having a thirst for learning in sales shows you are humble in your approach and prepared to adapt and develop in order to get better results.
Great salespeople will always look at how they could have handled a call better or given a better presentation. This doesn’t mean that they will be harsh or down on themselves, but they will be humble and know they can improve and work to do just that.
Learning is all about having that open mind that says, ‘I may know a lot, but I don’t know it all’ and ‘If I can learn 1 thing from this book, video, webinar or course’ then I have achieved my goal.
Arrogant, know it all salespeople who don’t want to listen and learn, may get some results but they won’t get long term consistent sales success with that approach. The confident, knowledgeable and humble sales person who believes in themselves but who also believes they can get even better will win the long term sales race and will win the hearts and minds of their prospects and customers as well.
When you learn something new, it not only allows you to build your skills but it also allows you to help others as well. I love sharing new knowledge and insights with people and so much of what I pass on as a sales mentor and trainer is based on what I have learned. The best sales people work to help others solve problems and if you can help your prospects solve issues as a result of what you have learned then it will strengthen your relationship with them.
There is also something very rewarding about giving back to a cause or a person. The best sales people have a ‘reason why’ they do what they do and whilst we all like to earn money and gain status, the most successful people have a bigger vision which they work towards and they inspire others towards that goal as well. Learning is great. Helping others to learn as a result of what you know is incredible!
There are times in our lives when we need to learn in order to break out of the cycle of monotony that can take over our lives. Whilst all humans are creatures of routine, there are times when that routine can drag you down and make you feel bored. It is at times like this that learning can be incredibly valuable.
For example, if you are stuck in a rut within your sales role and feel that everything is very much the same then learning a new sales script or way to engage with a prospect can be exciting and a way to spark up your day. Trying out that new script or practicing it with a colleague allows you to learn a new way of doing something and the feeling of speaking to a prospect with a new initial approach then becomes a thrill rather than a chore.
If you are a salesperson who spends a lot of time in the car then we all know that the same songs or the same radio talk shows can become incredibly tedious. Make the change and spend a few hours listening and learning to a podcast or new book and you will be amazed at what new ideas you can learn that can impact you in future sales conversations. Learning helps to keep our mind fresh!
The final reason and probably the most important reason why it is essential to keep learning in sales is that it is how the best have got to the position they have. Give me any inspirational entrepreneur or successful sales person and I will bet my house that learning and having a desire to keep learning will have been key to their success.
The best business people are constantly evaluating themselves and looking at how they can improve and develop. They know where they are weak and then challenge themselves to learn skills so that they can develop and stretch their minds. Do you think Elon Musk knew everything about electric cars and rockets 10 years ago? No, he didn’t but I know for a fact that he would have applied himself to learn from others in order to then develop his ideas and there is no doubt that the best people in all industries have their minds always open to learning and developing.
If you want to become the best at selling and achieve incredible sales results then it is essential that you continue to learn. Read, watch, consume what you can from the worlds great experts and if you then apply this learning in the right way, you will have a better chance of consistent sales success!
How has learning had an impact for you? What are the best things you have learned over time that have helped you achieve incredible sales results?
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments and so share them with on Twitter at @jameswhitesales or in the comments section below!
Lets learn together and ensure we all get the results we want and aspire to!