A Key Principle to Sales Success

By Terry Brock

Here is something that I’ve discovered which can help you get more sales in today’s white-hot competitive world. It is something that seems simple, however it is not easy. I’ve seen it in the lives of successful people from many walks of life.

I call it aggressive learning. It is not just reading a book now and then. It is more than just listening to a nice feel-good audio. It is aggressively embracing new skills. It is to stretch your brain to grasp new concepts that help you in the marketplace to serve customers.

Aggressive learning will be what sets you apart in sales. There are a lot of smart people you are competing with today. They have access to the same Google searches you do. They have access to the same YouTube learning videos you do. They have gone to similar schools, read similar magazines, and might even know some of the same people you do. However, by embracing aggressive learning, you can increase your sales.

While they are resting, relaxing and taking it easy, you can read that extra book or even chapters in a book. You can listen to the extra podcast they didn’t. You might also attend that extra workshop where very successful business leaders share ideas and concepts to help you shave years off your learning curve.

Most people would agree that learning is important in sales. However, most are not willing to make the sacrifices to achieve success. They want to dabble at something rather than be devoted to excellence.

Be willing to pay the price. Be willing to part with your TME (Time, Money, Energy) to learn the sales skills you need.

Here are some steps that I’ve seen helping others, and have helped me in my own journey. I’d be very interested in hearing from you and getting your perspective on these:

Principle #1 — Embrace Relevance

You need to learn relevant, market-valuable information. Don’t just learn about “Tsetse flies from Ethiopia in the 15th Century.” There’s not a lot of market demand for that skill set! Find what paying customers (those wonderful people!) are ready, willing and able to pay for, then become the master in your niche about that. Become THE go-to resource for something that people need to know about and use.

Principle #2 — Embrace more than “Life Long Learning”

I think we need to continually learn and grow. We have to embrace new skills and techniques today as never before in history. You might have heard people talk about the concept of “Life-Long Learning” (LLL) meaning that you should keep learning all your life. While I agree with that concept, I’ll see your “LLL” and raise it to “DLL,” Day Long Learning. What do I mean by that? I mean to learn regularly throughout the day.

Zig Ziglar gave us some great advice to (I’m paraphrasing here), “When you’re sitting, read, and when you’ve moving, listen.” In his day audio cassettes were very popular (remember those?). He would encourage people to listen in their cars as they made their daily commute or on long trips. When you’re sitting he’d recommend reading from good quality literature that motivates you and to acquire new skills and mindsets to face the challenges of living. Zig’s advice is more relevant today than ever before.

Principle #3 — Decisively and emphatically reject “drivel”

This is the hardest part of aggressive learning. It means you not only embrace the good material, but you also reject the drivel that gets in the way. Let me give you an example.

As I get breakfast ready in the morning I like to listen to podcasts with skill-building ideas and learning from successful people what they have done to achieve their goals. The other day, just to see what else is available, I tested an alternative form of audio available called the local morning news. It is filled with negative information about tragedies going on around the world. It is filled with commentary from people who apparently mean well, but haven’t got a clue about what is going to happen. However, that doesn’t stop them from prognosticating about the future. Who cares? How is hearing that going to directly benefit you or your customers? I also noticed that the local radio news is filled with lots of people screaming at me about the “really, really low prices’ they are offering on cars, flooring supplies and more.


I don’t need to fill my mind, particularly in the early morning, with that drivel. Instead I want to fill my mind with positive, life-enhancing ideas and information. I can find out about the news quickly with a search of news.Google.com and some other wonderful sites. I can read faster than they can talk, so I’ll know more about important topics than someone listening to the drama and scary music with the “This just into the newsroom…” kind of information.

Discipline your mind to embrace learning aggressively and to reject the drivel that is abundant.

Note: This article originally appeared in Business Journals

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