These words: to know, to do, to become have been haunting me for some time. What do they mean, and particularly, what do they mean to a salesperson?
I’m not sure what these words mean to you, but I will try to address them from a salesperson’s perspective. Every day we are faced with a myriad of choices as to what we will do that day. Some choices are deliberate while other choices seem to be almost subconscious. Are we making a deliberate and conscious decision to learn something new each day? Every day presents itself as a blank canvas to the artist. We can paint the picture of our choice. Are we painting a picture of learning in our mind? As a young, new salesperson nearly forty-four years ago, I honestly believed knowledge was power. I wanted to learn all I could about my prospects and customers as a vehicle to increase my sales. I explored and studied all I could about the art of selling. I absolutely knew that the more I knew, the more I could do. Knowledge is the first step, the key if you will, of achievement. It all begins with knowledge. Knowledge opens the world of opportunity to all those who will learn. What have you learned about your customers and prospects today? What new skills, or principles of selling have you embraced?
As important as learning and knowledge are to a salesperson, their true value is not found in possession, but rather in application, or in doing. As a young salesperson I soon discovered knowledge was not power. Power was found in the application of knowledge. Knowledge applied, was the formula for power. I needed to actually do something with my knowledge before it had any power. I have been training salespeople for many years, and the most common comment I hear from them is, “When are we going to learn something new?” I respond with a reflex comment, “There is nothing new to learn, only the doing of what we already know.” Knowledge will buy you a cup of coffee and a donut; application of knowledge will buy you the coffee shop. A comment our children heard often in their formative years was, “Knowing and doing are two different things”. They are very different, while at the same time very closely related. One has no value without the other.
Knowledge and action combined, become a very powerful tool in the hands of a salesperson in becoming and achieving their goals and objectives. Any salesperson can become great by doing the things they know. It is through the application of knowledge that salespeople achieve the full measure of their potential. There are no limits in life to what you can become, if you properly and deliberately apply the knowledge of the world. These six little words fit snuggly together to explain one of the most powerful principles in selling: “to know, to do, to become”. Now, for one final thought, ponder the meaning of these simple words: “To know and do not is to know not”. What are you willing to learn, what are you willing to do, and how will knowledge and action influence your sales career?