On numerous occasions, Thomas Edison said, "Genius is 1 percent talent and 99 percent perspiration." This is true for all areas of life, including sales. And a good portion of that 99 percent applies to sales training. Yet all too often, training for sales reps can get short shrift.
In Good Selling! Thirteen Weeks to Personal Success," Paul H. Green reflected on this. "I have found that for individuals new to sales, the need to run with the big dogs as quickly as possible drives some to take shortcuts on their learning experience," he wrote. "In my view, that is a bit like skipping general anatomy when you're attending medical school."
While on-the-job training is integral to a merchant level salesperson's education, that doesn't mean a new sales rep should be thrown into the field with negligible preparation and scant ongoing support. The Scholars Online website reminds us, "It takes us time to review details and develop the memory skills needed to master a new concept."
As we all know, those entering payments face a steep learning curve. Plus, as the industry becomes increasingly complex, that curve grows only steeper. And at no point can payments professionals simply skate by, because ongoing innovations in payments require ongoing learning.
The quality training is offered varies greatly from company to company. Often, MLS are independent contractors without managers keeping track of their progress and results. Thus, many must take responsibility for acquiring the right knowledge and skills to succeed. So how is this done?
It takes disciplined study, practice and review, along ongoing support to make the grade as an MLS. This means cultivating of good habits. For example, just as you write down your business goals and the steps needed to attain them, write down your study goals and steps. And just as you set aside time each day for prospecting, set aside time for study, too.
Also, use all modes of study available to you – and be willing to invest a reasonable amount of money for access. That means print, electronic and audio books, and videos. It means attending webinars, live seminars and trainings, as well as industry tradeshow presentations. And it means taking notes on all of those – and reviewing those notes to solidify your learning. Another essential is networking at events, connecting with peers and forming study groups in addition to learning from the best in the field – and even asking those your find the most astute to mentor you.
If someone doesn't have time to mentor you, the person may be active on tradeshow committees. You could volunteer and work beside the person and learn that way. To keep on learning, you also need to be motivated. Consider joining a mastermind group to have equally committed peers to help hold you accountable for attaining your study and business goals.
Remember this is an ongoing project that requires a multistep approach to be effective. As with all aspects of life, what you gain is directly proportional to what you put in. Attending two-day tradeshows periodically will give you valuable boosts, but for lasting impact, also commit to investing in your development daily.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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