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.
On the topic of constant improvement, do you remember when you were in school, you were required to read and keep up with class work to keep up on your grades? In some cases the reading material was, at times, uninspiring. Several years after graduation, you re-discover reading for two different purposes. One is for pleasure, the other is to keep up on skills that translates into opportunity and increasing your value and compensation to your business, and of course, yourself.
One of the challenges of making reading a habit again is reading for purpose and decide what you should start reading. I touched on this topic in a previous post and offered a suggestion. How many of you followed through? To help you build your summer reading list, the link below will direct you to the Five Best Personal Finance Books ever written, which happens to be the opinion of three different bloggers. One of which is a surprise to me and will pick it up at the library after I finish the stack that I’m working on right now. These five books will provide you the methodology that was written about in The 20-rules that you should follow.
J.Money references another blogger (ESIMoney.com) that did the legwork of writing his review on each book. Head to you bookstore, library or to Amazon and pick up any or all of them. Set a goal for yourself to finish reading each of these books before the end of summer. Your Future-Self will thank you for reading and applying some new skills. In addition, it will help reinforce what you’ve learned, or remind yourself what may have forgotten.
Carry On and enjoy the learning process.