To reach and stay at the top of your game, you must practice your sales skills consistently. Even if you’ve accelerated your skills to the point where you’re at the highest level of competency, there will always be someone striving to out-position you or your company.
In my experience, there are four levels of sales ability – and practice is critical at each:
- Rookies (the unconscious incompetence level) are new to sales, don’t really understand how to make a sale and follow the process, and have minimal product knowledge.
- Learners (the conscious incompetence level) understand the sales process, but still need help making a sale.
- Amateurs (the conscious competence level) know the sales process well enough to close their own deals but must still “think” about the responses or reactions to close the deal.
- Professionals (the unconscious competence level) have practiced the sales process so much that they no longer need to think about it and respond to objections easily can close sales consistently.
I’ve been training Rookies and veterans for many years. And as a recent college grad who never sold anything in his life, trainee “Cameron” is a great example of someone who diligently practiced his way up the competency ladder.
Having progressed from Rookie to Amateur in just ten months, Cameron is now in his third year of sales and is close to mastering the “Professional” level. He’s practiced so well, that he was his organization’s top producer last year at $1.8 million of production.
No matter what level you’re at, you should never stop learning and improving your sales skills. After all, the only real difference between an Amateur and a Professional is that Amateurs practice until they get it right – and Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.