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Speed learning for salespeople

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Sales has now officially become a thinking-intensive profession. We’re constantly bombarded by new information regarding products, services, bosses, priorities, processes, technology—the list goes on and on.

It’s impossible to stay on top of it all. So much to learn in so little time! And it just keeps coming at you. As soon as you think you’ve got it all figured out—BAM!—more change and you find yourself scrambling again. Successful sellers need to learn a lot fast and figure out how to best integrate that new knowledge into customer interactions. 

Developing your learning agility enables you to be resourceful, adaptable and proactive—ready to tackle your customers’ biggest challenges and help them succeed. It means you’re a skilled communicator because you’ve learned to see things from other peoples’ perspectives. Your ideas are fast and flexible, and you’re able to come up with lots of avenues for achieving your goals.

Quickly assimilate new knowledge. The good news is that learning agility is an acquired skill. Here are six rapid learning strategies tohelp you quickly assimilate new knowledge and improve your skills:

1.    Chunking. Break big subjects down into smaller, more digestible chunks. Otherwise, an assignment may be simply too overwhelming. 

2.    Sequencing. After you’ve broken down the subject or skill set into finite chunks, determine what you need to learn first and what comes after that. 

3.    Connecting. Link new skills and information to something you already know.

4.    Dumping. Take notes. The key to remembering a deluge of information is to get what you learn out of your head and into a place where you can look at it later. 

5.    Practicing. Any time you need to learn a skill, deliberate practice is essential. 

6.    Prioritizing. To harness your most effective thinking, decide which activities are most important at the beginning of each day and then focus on one activity at a time, to the exclusion of all others.

By becoming an agile learner, you can quickly improve your sales skills and close more sales faster and with higher margins. It’s worth acquiring this meta-skill for that one reason alone.

But it’s also a life skill that will help you no matter where you work and for whom. Those who can get up to speed quickly, in any industry and any job, will always be in high demand.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.


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