You Can’t Become a Sales Jedi Overnight

It can take time to hone your sales craft. Take advantage of all the tools you can to help you succeed along the way. A simple CRM and sales pipeline tracking app like Base can help you stay organized and win more deals.


Small business owners move a fast pace and they often expect everyone on their team to match that pace. Many of the entrepreneurs I know also make rapid changes in their business. They try something and when it doesn’t get the desired result, they attempt something else.

This approach could be working against you.

You see, most people make a few attempts to incorporate a new concept into their sales routine but they often give up before that concept has been fully integrated into their approach. They give up before they master that concept because they don’t get the desired result as quickly as they want.

Here’s an example.

A couple of years I thought it would be cool to learn how to play the guitar. I visited a local music store and returned home with a rented electric guitar and amplifier along with a self-study program. I naively thought that I’d be playing a few of my favorite rock tunes in couple of months.

However, several months later I could only play a few bars without making a mistake. I had only learned to play three strings and several notes even after hours of practice. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into consideration that I had NEVER taken a music lesson or learned how to read sheet music.

A subsequent conversation with a colleague reminded me that, on average, it takes up to 10,000 hours of practice to completely master a particular skill. It doesn’t really matter what that skill is. It can be playing a musical instrument, learning how to write more effectively, deliver a powerful speech, becoming competent in a given sport or developing effective sales habits.

I’m not suggesting that it will take you or your sales team 10,000 hours to learn how to sell effectively but understanding a new sales concept is completely different than mastering it and most people don’t give themselves enough time to become comfortable AND competent integrating new strategies into their routine.

When I work with sales people in my training workshops, participants often say that they have tried the concepts that are presented but they failed to achieve the desired results. In most cases, they made one or two attempts then gave up. But, like any other new skill it is critical to give yourself ample time to become comfortable applying a particular concept.

The only way to become proficient is to invest the time into practicing.

Progress is much slower than most people realize. Unfortunately, we live in a society that focuses on offering easy solutions, quick fixes, and fast answers. But personal development doesn’t happen that quickly.

Let me put this into perspective and share one last example.

A good friend of mine bought a Porsche a few years ago and took advanced driving lessons shortly after taking possession. He was surprised how challenging it was to learn how to handle fast curves and hard braking even though he was already a very competent drive. After an intense weekend of driving he was surprised that he had only started to grasp the basics. However, he has since returned to the driving school and dramatically improved his skills.

Here’s the lesson.

Give yourself time to become comfortable applying a new sales concept before you quit.

Invest the appropriate amount of time to practice that concept. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. Yes, you will make mistakes. You will feel awkward at first. You will fail many times before you master that concept.

But, it you stick with it you will get better. You WILL master that skill. And you will eventually become a sales Jedi. However, it won’t happen overnight.

About Kelley Robertson

Kelley Robertson writes for Future Simple's Growth University and is a business expert experienced in helping people master their sales conversations so they can win more business. He conducts sales training workshops and delivers keynote speeches through his company The Robertson Training Group.
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