The best tend to learn from the best. Even King Solomon, regarded as the wisest man to walk the earth, knew ‘iron sharpens iron.’ Isn’t that what it takes to get better? We constantly focus on getting better, until we’re the best. What people don’t often mention is the target placed on the “best” – everyone wants that top spot. Doesn’t it take work to stay there? If it is a good place to be, it must be worth the work.
I find it shocking HOW few people make time to invest in themselves. Experts know the key to continual growth is not just practice, but coaching. The most successful athletes in history worked side by side with legendary coaches. Most of those coaches started under legendary coaches, too. The cycle of excellence is clearly effective. Many people just have not figured out HOW to get started.
Excellence requires continual education and training. The ongoing learning process is vital, especially when sales techniques and marketing strategies adapt almost every day. Big-money companies know the truth – and invest over $20 billion every year on training their staffs. Why spend so much money when the goal is to make money? Because studies have shown every dollar spent on sales training returns almost $30. From a business perspective, it’s a no-brainer. That’s HOW it is done.
If I could drive home one piece of advice to every person who comes to me for help, I would implore him or her to seek experts in their fields. I’d even suggest connecting with experts in other fields, and letting outside perspectives influence growth, too. The most effective training is not going to be every few years, especially when over 80 percent of sales training techniques are lost within the first three months of use. The HOW-to of selling is a continuous not complacent. Coaching takes a relationship with continued investment.
We need to seek iron, and then be okay with sharpening. It probably won’t be peers who take you to the next level – it’s going to be someone already on that level. I am constantly looking both directions, connecting with experts on new levels and extending a hand to people doing the same. The goal is to find someone who knows HOW to do something and has more experience, learn from them, and continue to pass the skills and knowledge to the next level of the cycle.
As the cycle continues, and excellence snowballs, your network gets stronger. The better connected you are with people who know more than you do, the easier it will be to stay sharp. It takes guidance and coaching, and a little passion, to be the best. I can’t tell you HOW to find passion. I can, though, sharpen the edges.