Expanding Your Industry Knowledge & Awareness

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Training Neuroscience DevelopmentHow long have you worked in your industry?

That’s your history, and for many people it’s all their history.

In other words, they have just one or two perspectives on the world of work and business.

I have  had the privilege of working in Sales Training and Sales Consulting with hundreds of different industries and it allows me to see things from so many points of view.

I get to see how the banking sector works, how the aviation industry carries out their management assessments, how the retail industry determine their sales processes and how the IT world deal with their challenges.

This gives me plenty of opportunities to share best practice in a plethora of ways.

For most people, they know a lot about how their industry behaves, who the key players are and the recognised best ways of running a business.

The main challenge with that is they only see what that one industry does to change the future and generate a good business model.

Most people in that industry will work to the same set of values, but it may keep you myopic to the ideas coming out of other industries.

For example, it may be eye-opening to you when you look at how other industries approach specific problems.

Fed-Ex applied the banking system to overnight deliveries. Instead of delivering a parcel 500 miles, they introduced the ‘hub-and-spoke’ model, where regional branches report to regional head offices who report to main head offices.

It revolutionised the parcel delivery industry.

The personal hygiene world was revolutionised when they studied the ball-point pen.

It was just a matter of time before the roll-on deodorant was produced.

Your industry may have some great ideas, but there are plenty more in other industries.

Here are some ideas that may help you develop some outside knowledge:

  • Pick an industry unrelated to the one you are in. For instance, if you’ve spent your life in retail, pick the world of IT.
  • Do a search of ‘best practice’ ideas within that industry. Follow people on LinkedIn who write about that industry. Create a list of ideas that spring out of those writings.
  • Identify five things that industry does better than yours.
  • Determine five things your industry does better than there’s.
  • Select some of the items the other industry does better and identify what you could learn from them that could be applied for your business.
  • See what specifically could work for you within those ideas and determine which customers may benefit from some of those ideas.

What you’ll find are ways and means that other people use to create new opportunities within their businesses.

There might be things you could simply copy, or at least adapt to the specific needs of your clients.

It could be you learn how they generate and develop new products for their customers.

Or possibly how they service their customer needs.

Or possibly how they deal with specific challenges their customers face.

Whatever you learn, it’s bound to offer a new viewpoint and allow you to see options that would never have been seen without your new research.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Dollarphotoclub

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 3 November, 2016

Related Articles

Arrow down

Search For More

Arrow down