Sales has now officially become a thinking-intensive profession. We’re constantly bombarded with new information: new 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’re 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 think from other peoples’ perspectives. You’re fast and flexible in the ideas you generate, and are able to come up with lots of ways to achieve your goals.
The good news is that learning agility is an acquired skill. The advances in neuroscience has lead to a growing body of research about how our brains work. These findings can be applied through practical, hands-on tips and techniques for jump-starting your knowledge acquisition.
Here are six rapid learning strategies that can help you quickly assimilate new knowledge and improve your sales skills.
1. Chunking: Break big subjects down into smaller, more digestible chunks; otherwise, the assignment is simply too overwhelming.
2. Sequencing: After you’ve broken the subject or skill set down 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: 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.
When you’re an agile learner, you quickly improve your sales skills so you can 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. People who can get up to speed quickly, in any industry and any job, are in high demand.