Keep on practicing your selling skills

by Dr. Alan Zimmerman
(Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Dr. Alan Zimmerman

Dr. Alan Zimmerman

Keep on practicing your sales skills.

Competence and confidence go hand in hand. If you’re really good at what you do, you’re bound to feel more confident. So simply put, if you keep on practicing your sales skills, you’re going to be more competent and you’re going to have a more confident positive attitude.

Unfortunately, there are two times when a salesperson stops practicing the basics in sales – when things are going poorly and when things are going well.

When things are going poorly in sales, when a salesperson gets knocked down and feels like quitting, chances are he has stopped practicing the basics in sales. He’s taken some shortcuts that are hurting him.

Just as commonly, a salesperson might reach a new high in her career, and she does the same stupid thing. She thinks she’s so good that she can stop practicing the basics in sales. And then she hits bottom, gets a negative attitude, and wonders what happened.

You’ve got to keep on practicing to maintain a positive attitude and move toward success. Long ago professional basketball star Bob Petit proved that. Even though he became one of the highest scoring players in the sport, it wasn't that way in the beginning.

As a freshman in high school, Bob was weak, frail, and uncoordinated. All he really had going for himself was the determination to practice until he became a quality athlete.

Bob began with a wire coat hanger that he bent into the shape of a basketball hoop. Hour after hour, day after day he threw tennis balls through his makeshift basket. Eventually his father got him a real basketball and hoop.

Bob would throw baskets after school every day, go to dinner, and then go back to practice. It wasn't too long before he became the star of his church team, then his high school team, college team, and finally a professional team.

It's the same for you and me. There are few shortcuts on the road to sales success. We all have to prepare or practice first.

And the old master knew this in "The Karate Kid" movie. Even though his young protégé wanted desperately to learn the art of fighting, the master handed him a paint brush instead. He told the boy to paint the fence a certain way. Of course the boy was discouraged and disillusioned. He couldn't see any relationship between fence painting and ring fighting.

He was even more disappointed when the master instructed him to wash, wax, and polish the car. As he worked his hands in a circular motion over the car, he was demoralized. He couldn't help but wonder, "How will this help me in my future? How will this help me to be a fighter?"

But the old master was helping the boy learn the motions he would need as a fighter. He was helping the boy to realize that champions do not become champions in the ring. They are merely recognized in the ring.

The same is true for you. You can make a lot of progress in life. You can achieve some major victories -- but not without some practice. There are few if any "overnight sales successes" in this world. Progress is almost always preceded by a lot of preparation and perseverance.

Dr. Alan Zimmerman
author of the "Tuesday Tip"

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