I remember the very first sales meeting I attended. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Tom Vanyo, the owner of the brokerage firm, spent the majority of the meeting talking about self-improvement and how critical personal development was to be successful not only in sales but in life. From that point on the focus of each meeting was about personal development.
Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a salesperson who works for a very large company. He told me he had been in the business almost three years and he was really struggling with prospecting and setting appointments. He also mentioned his company spent a lot of time teaching product knowledge and there was very little training on prospecting skills and how to actually get in front of the prospect. Product knowledge means nothing if you can't get in front of the prospect.
What are you going to do if your company doesn't teach you how to prospect effectively? What are you waiting for? Invest in yourself. Over the years I have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours into improving my skills and abilities. So often I hear others say, “I'm going to wait until my company invests in me.” Let me ask you this. What if they don't? By investing in yourself you will receive the greatest benefit of all. You will improve your skill and ability and nobody can take those skills away from you.
When I filed bankruptcy in 1989 I lost everything of material value. What they didn't take from me were the skills I had developed over the previous 10 years. Those skills have served me well over the past 23 years.
To this day I am so grateful that Tom Vanyo taught me the value of personal development. I think this quote from my favorite book says it all, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.”
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