At the conclusion of each of my workshops, I always make this statement.
“The principles and skills you have learned today are valuable and correct. I hope you have not only been richly fed, but have had a fire lit within your soul. Nothing we have discussed and learned today will make any difference in your life and sales career unless you take action. The only thing that really matters is what you are going to do with the knowledge you have gained today. If you take action and change your behaviors, then the time we have spent is worthwhile. If you do nothing, then you would have been better off going to a movie. The only value derived from knowledge is found in its application. Take the knowledge you have gained today, apply it in your sales activities and I guarantee you will enjoy greater sales success. I’ve done my part; the rest is up to you. What you choose to do with this information will influence your career in either a positive or negative manner. The choice is yours. Thank you for your patience, your participation and your willingness to improve yourselves.”
I’m reminded of the story told about Socrates as he demonstrated to a student the importance of desire in learning. The story alleges that Socrates took the student to a fountain where he held his head under water. The student struggled with all his might to free himself for a breath of air. When he finally broke free and raised his head, gasping to take in a life saving breath, Socrates replied. “When your desire to learn is as great as your desire to breathe, then you will become a great student.”
In sales, there is no shortage of great knowledge and learning. The world is full of great fundamentalist teachers and practitioners. Sales training is a seven billion dollar per year industry. Salespeople are learning daily. Where the world falls short, is with salespeople who are willing to take action and apply the principles and skills they have learned. Knowledge of its self is nothing more than a selfish indulgence. The application of knowledge is what moves the world. People tend to gravitate to their comfort zones and only do those things they feel comfortable doing, those things they have always done. Regardless of how much they have learned, there will be no change in their performance until they take action. Taking action on things learned brings about the birth of change. Knowledge and action are inseparable in bringing about change. One cannot exist without the other and together they can bring about great success.
Find the desire and motivation to gain knowledge and then take action by putting your new knowledge into practice. Knowledge and action, there is no substitute for these two principles on the road to sales success. The more action you take, the more you will come to understand this principle. Learn and apply – isn’t that the way we learned in kindergarten? It is also the way we learn in sales. “Take the knowledge you have gained today, apply it in your sales activities and I will guarantee that you will enjoy greater personal sales success. I’ve done my part; the rest is up to you. What you choose to do with this information will influence your career in either a positive or negative manner. The choice is yours. Thank you for your patience, your participation and your willingness to improve yourselves.”