October 29, 2008

When is the last time you read a sales book?

Topping up skills is very important, and not just every 5 or 10 years
but on an ongoing basis.

All accountants are, for example, required to put a certain amount of
time aside for training or related learning activities
very year of
their professional life. It's compulsory! In fact, if they don't
they cannot continue to be called an accountant!

In sales it should be the same! But alas it's not. In fact, most
salespeople don't do ongoing learning – be it reading a sales book, an
audio cassette, attending a course, or seminar, etc.

In fact, out of a group of 50 UK sales people and their managers
surveyed at an event I was at said they less than 5% had read a sales book in the
past year

Does that mean sales is any less of a profession than accounting? Is
it less demanding, or less sophisticated in terms of its skills and
techniques? Is it more immune to changing market conditions? The
answer on all counts is No. So, why is there little commitment to
ongoing professional development in sales?

OK, I hear you say there is little in any of the books or training
courses that you haven't seen, or heard before. But that is not the
point. You may know it all - but until you are applying it
consistently in our daily sales tasks we need to keep on learning.
Ongoing professional development in sales is essential.

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