Practice Makes Perfect – Kick Out Mediocrity

I read an interesting article in the Guardian last Friday about how young Dutch footballer’s skills are perfected by their coach.

The method?

They get them to actually kick the ball 10,000 times a day in sets of 100-200 repetitions at a time.

They work with their young players in various drills. A mixture of toe-touches, dribbles, Cruyff turns and the like!

Go on over and read the article “Practising Perfection By 10,000 Touches” – it’s a fascinating read and insight into drilling excellence.

By carrying out these drills over and over again it becomes second nature to them and countries like Holland and Spain have worked out an almost formulaic approach to churning out great players by getting to them early and by cultivating excellence in this way.

It’s a process.

This got me thinking about the best sales people I’ve come across over the years and the best sales teams.

In terms of the top performing sales people…

They read books, attend training, learn from their peers and are committed to continually improving and perfecting their skills.

It’s not going to be as radical as 10,000 touches per day but they do something every single day to improve and hone their skills

The bottom line is that you need to practice over and over and over again to make perfect.

In terms of the top performing sales managers…

They churn out top performing sales people by having a training and on-going performance improvement process for them. From the moment a new starter joins they enter a system and a process to get them performing as soon as possible and then keep them performing.

Nothing is left to chance!

The lesson…

Don’t leave anything to chance or luck.

Develop a system and a process to improve.

Whether you are the player or the coach make sure you’re committed to excellence in all that you do and give yourself the best chance of success.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

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How To Become The Best Salesperson In Your Industry

We get hundreds of salespeople going through our sales courses each year. We often ask them, “What are your goals, hopes, dreams? What do you want to be?”

Among the many answers we get, one seems to crop up more than most. It’s along the lines of ‘I want to be better than I am today. I want to be the best’.

My trainers often ask, “OK, if that’s the case, what have you been doing before arriving here to grow, develop, improve your skills, talents, abilities? What are your plans after this workshop to build your career so you become the best salesperson in your industry?”

Unfortunately, the tumbleweed often makes more noise than the salesperson!

Let me ask the same question of you. Do you want to get better? Do you want to be the best?

I’ll assume that at least some of you reading this thought about it for a few moments, agreed that it might be a good idea, hunched up your shoulders and said, “Yea, why not? I suppose it would be good. I’ll read on and see what I need to do. But I’m not promising anything! It depends how much hard work is involved!”

I don’t blame you if you did think that way. It’s normal. But the fact is you actually choose the level of performance you are currently at.

Author Malcolm Gladwell said in 2008 that he had found out, through research, how to become an overnight success. It was fairly straightforward what you had to do. Although talent is a factor, the willingness to commit to immersing yourself into the area of expertise you are hoping to attain is head and shoulders above any other way of achieving ‘overnight success’

Gladwell was the first to purport that a person has to devote 10,000 hours or 10 years to become an expert. Neurologist Daniel Levitin also tells us that 10,000 hours is the number that continually comes up when he studies writers, pianists, chess players, composers, basketball players, etc.

You may switch off now.

How can you possibly devote that much time when you are working full time? Well, that attitude will mean you will never start.

Consider this: How much time do you spend in your car or on the train every week? 10, 15, 20? More?

Even if you spent half that time listening to sales coaches on CD or ideas from podcasts on your MP3 player, you could contribute towards your personal development.

Add up the time you waste watching television each month. If half that time was spent reading about developing your skills, your knowledge and improvements would be tangible very quickly.

It all comes down to choice. Do you choose to learn how to become the best salesperson in your industry, or do you choose to remain where you are?

Remember, your competitors may be developing their skills more quickly than you. Do you really want to be left behind? Or is it more comfortable to stay where you are?

I’ll let you decide!

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

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