Never Stop Learning How to Sell

May 6, 2013

It’s graduation season again and this year I get to be a part of that group which walks across the stage, receive a college degree, and go out into the working world. Before I get there however I had one last paper to write; a book report on Jeffrey Gitomer’s The Sales Bible. Reading it I realized something: just because I was done with school, didn’t mean I was done learning.

I first realized this when I went to purchase the book. I’m standing in the business section of Barnes and Noble, looking at all the different books about selling and being a better salesman. Then I started wondering, how many different types of these books are printed each year? What makes this book different from the one next to it? What answers does this one give that the others don’t? Then it hit me. The reason there are so many different types books on sales is because there isn’t just one way how to sell, and one way doesn’t work forever.

In The Sales Bible Gitomer talks about the importance of finding the joy in selling, building rapport with customers, and believing you can be the best sales person you can be. While on the surface it may seem his advice may seem obvious and sounds like it’s targeted for people new to the sales game, I like to think they can be reminders for experienced sales people. You could be someone with 20 years sales experience and the advice in this book would still hold true. No matter how long you’ve been selling there have probably been times where sales were slow or you found yourself in a slump, trying pick business back up. That is the time to take a look and ask yourself, “What am I doing different, and what am I doing wrong?” Never rest on past success because it is just that, in the past.

Given the changing world we live in, continuing to learn and seek out knowledge is the best way find success in sales. What worked yesterday may not be what works even 3 years from now. That is why it is important for you or your sales staff to keep learning and adding skills to your arsenal. Look for new ways to sell or new ways to pitch. And most importantly, never think that you know everything. Today’s customers are smarter and more educated than ever before. As Gitomer puts it “the days of the easy sale are over.” This means it is up to everyone’s sales staff to improve their skills, knowledge, and find out who has what it takes to make it in the world of sales.

So as I get ready to go to graduation, throw my cap in the air, get handed a diploma, and take on the world, I can’t help but think; “What do I need to learn now to ensure I become the best salesman I can be? What do I have to do tomorrow to get better than I was today? And how am I going to accomplish all of this?” These are questions any sales person will ask themselves more than once in their life. And every time they must be ready to take on the challenge. The only way to reach that next level is to never stop learning and always be looking to improve.