An Appetite for Learning is Essential!

Monday, January 9 2012

I was never fond of school, but I love learning. My personal library of business books, marketing books and books about selling would rival many libraries. In my car I have a selection of books on CDs.

I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity and in my role as a salesperson, that trait has helped me to succeed with customers. I’m constantly asking questions, listening carefully to the answers and as a result, I’ve learned a lot from others. I soak up information, stories, concepts and ideas that can be used to help others and myself.

Nowhere is curiosity and learning more important than in the sales department. Salespeople in today’s marketplace need to stay on top of information that is constantly shifting. Innovative changes in products, services, pricing models, technology, currency and markets, can be combined in a matrix to create a dizzying array of options that can confuse, even paralyse customers. While customers can Google a product or service on the Internet, except for simple commodities, they rarely get enough relevant and specific information to be able to make the best purchasing decision.

That’s where the salesperson comes in. A salesperson’s job is to ask customers enough questions to truly understand their situation, challenges, wants and needs, and to sift through their own complex bank of information in order to arrive at the best solution.Then they can make an informed recommendation and simplify the purchasing process, making it easier for customers to buy.

a professional salesperson is in constant learning mode:

  • Learning about new products, services, delivery options and installation methods
  • Learning about the competition
  • Learning about new technology and software that can make their job easier
  • Learning how his/her clients are using their products
  • Learning about results and outcomes their products provide months and years after they’ve been bought
  • Learning better ways to understand their customers
  • Learning better ways to communicate their ideas
  • Learning how to speak with greater confidence and authority
  • Learning how to add value and extra benefits for their customers

A professional salesperson is learning something every day. They’ve made learning a habit. They TAKE SALES COURSES, read books, newspapers, magazines and internet articles. They listen to audio books or thoughtful, intelligent radio programs on the CBC. They ask lots of questions and seek to understand. Because only with that accumulated learning and understanding, do they earn the right to advise their customers.