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People talk about the learning curve for acquiring a new knowledge base or skill, but most of them have never considered what this curve really looks like.

The learning process can be segmented into three stages:

  1. Set a Goal. - During the goal stage, you must establish a personal goal for increasing your sales production and earning power.

When you set your goal, aim high. Remember Napoleon Hill's words: "Anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

When you set a goal, you are acting on the realization that something must change in order for you to achieve your desired end result. To achieve your goal, you may need to acquire a new knowledge base or skill set.

  1. Maintain Commitment. - As you begin the learning process, you find that you are not as effective using new strategies and skills as you were practicing your old set. The dip, or emotional pain of conscious incompetence, sets in when you realize that you have set a goal that is not easily achieved. Until dissatisfaction with the status quo exceeds the pain associated with change, it is easier to turn away from the opportunity to learn and return to your comfort zone. During this "dip" stage you must fight the urge to give up.

In the vast majority of cases, the depth of the dip in the learning curve is no more than 10 to 15 percent. In most sales situations, it takes about 90 to 120 days to reach the point where you can see yourself reaching your goal. It helps to keep this in mind.

For a period of 90 days from the time you make the conscious choice to acquire a new knowledge base or skill set, commit yourself to investing an extra ten percent of yourself into your business.

To meet the challenge and achieve your goal, give full concentration, energy, and enthusiasm to your profession during these 90 days.

Give yourself an extra half-hour to an hour daily to focus on the strategies and skills you are attempting to master.

When you have made all the calls you can make, make one more. Then make one more after that.

Set aside some time to read about and study your business. Expand your knowledge base in support of your new goals.

  1. Anticipate What To Do When Results Flatten Out. - A commitment to life-long learning means a commitment to continually looking over the horizon toward the next curve. When you realize that your results in sales production or earning power are beginning to flatten out, recognize this as the time to anticipate what needs to happen next and assess whether you need to add a new knowledge base or skill set.

If you wait too long, your business may go into decline before you begin to make the change. This can make you fall behind others in the market who have more accurately anticipated the future. Top sales professionals strive to anticipate the next growth opportunity as they become comfortable with their existing knowledge base. They know it is smart to grow from strength, as opposed to waiting until panic sets in.

Ongoing success is directly linked to continued learning. If you allow your knowledge base to become obsolete, your value in the competitive market will depreciate. You must continue to watch for upcoming trends and be ready to move along a new learning curve.

To excel in the highly competitive sales industry, you need to commit to continuous learning. To overcome the difficulties inherent in learning something new, it helps to understand the learning curve. Studying the three main stages of the learning curve can give you valuable insights. It can help you realize where you stand and what you must do in order to succeed.


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