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Solution Selling: The Power of Self-Development

The Power of Self-Development


March 6, 2008
By Kelley Robertson

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Self-development is a critical component of success. Here is the
transcript of an interview I recently gave that outlines the importance
of self-development:

Self-development is a critical component of success. Here is the transcript of an interview I recently gave that outlines the importance of self-development:

“Let’s start with what seems to be an obvious question, why is self-development so important?”

Business is more competitive and challenging than ever – which means we need to continually improve our skills if we want to maintain a competitive edge. Also, because business is changing, what worked well last year, last month or even last week, may not be as effective now. That means upgrading your skills is critical to your long-term success.

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“What are some of the mistakes salespeople make when it comes to self- development?”

The most common mistake I see is that many salespeople think they don’t need to update, or upgrade, their skills because they attended a program or training workshop sometime in the past.

I have also talked to many companies who say they’re not interested in a training program because they “did one” a few years ago. Sadly, these companies often consistently lose market share to their competitors who do invest in the development of their salespeople.

Another mistake is that people rely on their employer to either foot the bill or initiate something. If you’re not willing to invest in your future you won’t reach your full potential. I’ve noticed that self-employed or independent sales professionals are more likely to invest in their personal development, more so than employees of a company.
“What do you recommend for readers of this article?”

I recommend doing a quick self-evaluation to determine what specific areas they need to improve. Then, decide what you’re going to do to improve. This could mean attending a training workshop, a tele-seminar, or perhaps a conference to hear different speakers. If you get just one good idea that helps you improve your results, then it’s worth the investment.

 Nutrition Policies Are ‘Disappointing’

Not a single province scored an A on a school nutrition policy report
card released in October by a health advocacy group, and three
provinces – Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Saskatchewan – received a
failing grade.
“It’s quite a disappointing effort on the part of provinces,” Bill
Jeffery, national co-ordinator for the Centre for Science in the Public
Interest, said from Ottawa.
“And it may well be that provincial governments are contributing to all
of these (health) problems by not setting strict enough standards about
what can be served in schools.”
Alberta received a conditional B on the scorecard, based
on its draft guidelines for new standards, while a C was awarded to
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The other provinces – British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and New Brunswick – scored a D.
The provincial standards were measured against recommendations put forth by the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM).
In the case of Alberta, Jeffery noted that the province scored well
perhaps because it had the benefit of seeing the IOM report in April.
The IOM proposed standards take into account calories, saturated fat and sodium levels of foods.
The objective of the centre’s report was to assess the extent to which
provincial school nutrition standards actually set out expectations for
school foods.
In Ontario, Jeffery said that the nutrition guidelines are limited in scope.

“They only apply to vending machines and foods that are
actually served to children by community groups, like the Breakfast for
Learning programs,” he said.
“And so in a kind of odd way they subject these two categories of foods
to much stricter standards than foods that are sold in tuck shops and
fundraising activities, and most importantly, cafeterias.”

 

“I think we’ve all heard about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. Why is this so important for salespeople?”

Sales is a great career but it’s also a challenging one. The attitude we display is contagious and our customers and prospects pick up on it. But, even more important, is the fact that a positive attitude helps us get through the difficult times and occasional slumps we encounter from time-to-time.

“What can we do to maintain a positive outlook?”

There are a few things.

First, we have to choose to be positive. No one can tell us how to behave and we can always choose to be in a great mood or a negative one. Now I’m certainly not suggesting that this is easy because it’s not. However, when you put negative experiences into perspective and look at the big picture, you can often see why it’s more important to focus on the positive.
 
Here’s an example. I know two people who both lost major clients this past year. One person chose to focus on getting new clients and maintained the mindset that she would be able to replace that client with a better one that would generate even more revenue and profit. The second person fell into a slump and frantically worried about the revenue he lost. His sales are sliding downward while the first person is now experiencing an increase in sales.

Next, associate with other positive-minded, goal-oriented people. Too many people are quick to bring you down so it’s essential that the people around us are also positive and optimistic. I once worked with an individual who was very pessimistic and negative and I always felt drained of energy after talking to him. Eventually, I stopped associating with him because he made it difficult for me to stay positive.

I also recommend starting your day with something positive like reading or listening to motivational material instead of reading the newspaper or watching the news. Other things like exercise, yoga, and meditation are also great ways to start your day. It’s like tending a garden. If you don’t remove the weeds they will eventually take over and choke the flowers. Starting your day with something that is inspiring will kick start your day and keep the weeds away.

“What final words of advice do you have for our readers?”

Improvements don’t happen overnight. I suggest that people work at incorporating one change or something new into their approach or routine every week. For example, this week readers could focus on associating only with positive people. Each change, even if it’s small, makes a difference and can improve our results.

It’s like physical fitness. You can’t go from a being a couch potato to competing in an Ironman competition in a week or two. It takes time to build your stamina and strengthen your body so it can handle the stress effectively.
Make small changes but make them consistently and you will notice great results.

Kelley Robertson, author of The Secrets of Power Selling helps  sales professionals improve their results. Receive a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” by subscribing to his free newsletter available at www.kelleyrobertson.com. Kelley conducts workshops and speaks regularly at sales meetings and conferences.
For information on his programs contact him at 905-633-7750 or Kelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com.