The Five Books You Must Read

 

When I started my technical sales career at Pharmacia Biotech, the sales department had a well-planned sales and product training program that to this day remains my gold standard of training.  It consisted of comprehensive course: two weeks at headquarters for sales/marketing product lectures, hands on product training and Professional Selling Skills training. After the second week, the trainers sent you into your territory with your manager for two weeks applying everything that you just learned.   After that, back to HQ to focus on different product areas and more selling skills for another two full weeks and then back into your territory.  This cycle repeated for over four months and the team selling/coaching sessions with your manager lasted another three or four months after.  During this period, it was also expected that you continue with your own self-study on the products and your customer’s business. On top of that, you were required to hit your monthly sales targets and complete your admin duties consistently.  It did get a lot easier once you mastered the product line, your customers, and learned what’s important to manage your manager. (See the 80/20 rule.)    This methodology of constant and never-ending improvement became part of a very healthy corporate culture and a team driven to lead the market in best in class products, technical sales and customer satisfaction. The lifelong skill that this method taught me is not only learn new skills and how to apply new developed skills. Knowing is not enough, one must apply. Continue reading “The Five Books You Must Read”

20 Rules That You Should Follow 80% of the Time

According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of all activities produce 80% of all results. To put it in another way, people tend to expend 80% of our efforts on activities that have minimal effects on the results. The Pareto Principle can be validated by looking at many of your past successes that you are most proud of. In hindsight, it seemed so easy because we focused on the right or the best 20% of the activities, whether it was expertise, guidance or sheer luck on how things fell into place. People who are focused on activities that produce results are those who have created goals and plans and follow these plans while making minor adjustments to them. Who has time for goals?  We’ll get back to that in a minute. Here’s another question: Who even has the time to read all of the content that lands in your feed?  Believe it or not, you are utilizing the 80/20 rule as you purposely filter things out. We tend to filter out 80% of the online content that require thought, learning or reflection and head right to the 20% that the reader finds entertaining. If it was a choice between entertainment or learning and applying a new skill, most people go right for the entertainment. Continue reading “20 Rules That You Should Follow 80% of the Time”