Post-Author: Nick Velardi, Head of Business Development at ReferMeIQ™
A quote I love from a personal hero by the name of Tony Robbins states “Success often is the result of good judgment; Good judgment is often the result of experience; experience is often the result of bad judgment.” This is spot on. It ties into the law of 10,000 hours (Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell). The well-examined principle is that mastery comes from repetition and consistency over long periods of time.
As an IT sales professional in the third year of my sales career, I have observations and resources that may help you accelerate your sales success. This blog will touch on key books and leaders that have been attributed directly to my progression in the sales profession. My goal is to bring value to anyone who is interested in pursuing or just starting out in a sales or business development role.
Starting from the Bottom
Excellence in any field inherently begins at the bottom. The profession of sales for most people is a career path fallen into, not deliberately chosen. This means it is important to be honest with ourselves about the level we are at in the beginning. Post-graduates in their first 1-2 years in sales understand that it is a GRIND. Many quit. Those who prevail and stay consistent are generally those who are abundantly rewarded.
During the initial beating most take in their first SDR, BDR, Inside Sales, etc. role (you try and keep up with the names), there comes a point where your skills seem to plateau. This underlines the critical importance of continuing to invest in us.
When I hit that point, it hit me like a brick wall. Like most growth-minded people, the discomfort of static progress was unbearable. I plunged into relevant sales content whether that was books, blogs, videos, podcasts, etc. No valuable content was safe around me.
Breaking Through the Inevitable Plateau
Looking back now, building a foundation of knowledge & habits was the key to understanding the “big rocks” as Stephen Covey would say. This started with a focus on all areas of life. This subtly trickled into my career. Here are a few books/content I read that led to breakthroughs personally and professionally:
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Dr. Stephen Covey: Introduced concepts like P/PC balance, interdependence, and seeking first to understand.
2. Power of Full Engagement Loehr & Tony Schwartz: Challenged my conviction of time being our most precious resource with the idea that it is our energy that we need to be most cognizant of.
3. Tony Robbins’s “Personal Power” tapes: Old school, yet powerful. Opened my eyes to the human behavior system of pain & pleasure.
4. The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success- Deepak Chopra: Helped me achieve more balance by shifting my focus from not only the external world to both the external and internal world.
How do these apply to Sales?
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides a framework to benchmark your behavior with high achiever habits. Sales/Bus Dev is all about pushing for more. Many argue that effective habits are the most important actions to consistently compound your value over time.
2. Power of Full Engagement emphasizes the importance of energy in one’s career. Without proper energy, impressions on others will be dull; leadership becomes a burden, etc. Energy is our most valuable tool to sustain effectiveness. This requires nurturing.
3. Tony Robbins breaks down human behavior. Human behavior is directly correlated to decision-making. Buyer decision-making puts money in your pocket. Capiche?
4. 7 Spiritual Laws of Success attributes to lower the anxiety of the daily grind. At the end of the day, you can never be perfect. We all have calls that we could have performed better. These spiritual laws will take pressure off of these external events because your inner world remains at peace.
Everyone has a specific journey and seeks knowledge based on it. Timing is essential. Aligning your life with the knowledge you seek is the recipe for success. Cheers to elevating this profession and continuously leveling up.
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