On Tuesday April 24th 2012 I had the pleasure of attending a full day seminar with sales training legend Brian Tracy. Brian spent the day teaching over 400 people the art of selling in the 21st century. The day was jam packed with excellent sales advice from one of the world’s best speakers. Brian taught the strategies and techniques that the top 10% of sales people use. All of the techniques are great lessons in becoming an Orange in your marketplace, and I wanted to share one with you.

Brian started his talk explaining that only 10% of people participate in adult learning. This is learning new skills after they have finished university. Successful people are always learning. In today’s world if you’re not learning and moving up than you are by default going down. The world is like being on a downward escalator and you have to keep climbing just to keep pace. To get ahead you have to climb faster.

So how do you climb the escalator?

Brian explains that to climb you need to have both the knowledge and skills necessary for the next step. That is all; the goal is not to get to the top, just to the next step. Taking that step involves:

  1. Understanding what is the next step. To do this you simply have to ask your manager, mentor, or someone who is higher on the escalator what is the next step that you should take? What skill do you need to acquire to get yourself to the next level?
  2. Then you have to gain the knowledge necessary for that new skill. There are many places to acquire knowledge. Books, courses, seminars, the internet are all places you can look.
  3. Finally you have to deliberately practice that new skill. Deliberate practice is the act of intentionally practicing the skill in real life situations. You can’t just read about a new tactic and gain the theory, to truly apply it you have to actually practice it. You should practice by yourself, with others, and then in a real life situation. It is only through the successful execution in a real life scenario that confirms you have acquired the new skill.

Once you have the new skill under your belt it’s time to go back to the first question. Look up again and ask yourself – Now what new skill do I need to acquire to continue to move up the steps to success? Before you know it you will be amazed at how high you can climb.