When you think about your future in sales, what do you see?
You have the obligation to invest the time and† effort to think about your future and anticipate what it will hold for you. Henri Poincare, a famous physicist, said “It is far better to foresee, even without certainty, than not to foresee at all.”
It’s a guarantee that your markets, buyers, companies and career will be disrupted and transformed by rapidly changing technologies and evolving buying behaviors. How they will be changed is not always known.
But, as Poincare said, you at least have to think what these changes could mean for you?. In particular, what will you have to learn today to be ready for tomorrow?
I’ve spent a lot of time reading and thinking about this. And, I’ll admit that my crystal ball is cloudy at best.
Nonetheless, here’s a couple things that various experts believe the future will require from you as a sales professional.
That’s a phrase coined by author and futurist Geoffrey Colvin in his book Humans Are Underrated.
It requires intensive education and hard work to master the craft of forming workable human connection skills.
It may seem simple, but as automation increasingly assumes a larger role in your daily personal and work lives, mastering the ability to make and maintain functioning human connections, will become a key differentiator for you.
How easily do you develop and maintain relationships? Are you able to understand the situations of others and how they perceive the world? Are you able to quickly build trust to enable cooperation and collaboration with your buyers to help them achieve the things that are most important to them?
If you want a career in sales, you’ll have no choice in this. The ability to become more intensely human will continue to become an increasingly necessary, and valuable, asset in the age of AI.
My favorite quote about learning is from Thomas Huxley, a 19th century author. Huxley wrote that in life you should “Try to learn something about everything. And everything about something.”
It’s such amazing advice that you can’t go wrong following it. I credit much of my success to the wisdom of Huxley. It inspired me early in my career.
“Something about everything” means being interested in everything that’s happening around you. It means consuming information about, well, everything. The economy, business, politics, popular culture, technology, trends. Everything.
It will be incredibly valuable knowledge to possess at moments that you can’t anticipate now.
“Everything about something” means to proactively learn everything you can about sales. It requires you to become an absolute specialist in selling. And how your customers buy.
Being a sales specialist doesn’t just mean you are hitting quota. It means that you could teach a course in selling. That you could be the authority that others look to for advice.
To become this specialist in sales, you must voraciously consume information about sales, decision making, psychology, influence, leadership, AI, technology and much more.
You can’t hide from your future. Your future started today. You’re already living it.
Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch it pass you by.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.