Why Mastery in Sales Isn’t Enough to Achieve Your Sales Goals
You may have heard the term “mastery”, but what is “unconscious mastery”?
Unconscious Mastery is taking a step beyond just being great.
It means you’re so accomplished that you can perform your craft without thinking about the details while doing it, even under awkward or adverse conditions.
What does this level of mastery allow you to do? Everything that’s critical for a top salesperson. Because you’re not hung up on thinking about what to say next, or how to answer a concern accurately, you’re freed up to:
- Listen with your heart
- Listen for the emotion behind the words
- Pivot when the customer throws you a curve ball
- Change your strategy when an unexpected event occurs (You prepare the wrong slide show, only one decision-maker shows up, the global economy collapses, you break a heel).
- Teach it to others
Three Shortcuts to Unconscious Mastery
While time and practice are obviously key to become a master, I’ve found there are some ways to jumpstart your pursuit of greatness:
- Seek feedback
- Give up your ego
These steps are not something you do once and then forget about. Unconscious Mastery is an ongoing process of taking on new challenges, being humble enough to learn from your mistakes, and persisting through success and adversity.
Feedback Will Help Power Your Performance
I used to work with a guy I’ll call Barry. (Not his real name…his real name was Sam) Barry showed up to an interview with his boss carrying his trophies and plaques in his suitcase. He placed them on his desk before the meeting started. Barry was a skilled presenter, but he wasn’t interested in improvement.
Barry was his own worst enemy. When his sales went down, his excuses went up. He spent more time defending his lack of sales than it would have taken to learn more about his product and market. When offered coaching, Barry pointed to his awards and said he didn’t need any. Soon, Barry’s trophies were a relic of a decade that had long past. As the expression goes, nothing recedes like success.
When someone doesn’t accept valuable feedback, that person cannot grow. Eventually Barry’s complaints about everything from the lamb chops he ate last night to the company’s lack of training destroyed his relationships and his chance at growth.
Have you ever noticed that it’s the top 25% of the salespeople that buy sales training aids such as books and online learning programs? You may say, “Well, it’s because they can afford it.” I can tell you firsthand it’s the other way around—they can afford to finance their ongoing education because they’ve been putting in the investment since Day One.
Learning isn’t just something you do with books, audios, or online programs. Working with mentors is also key to achieving higher levels of performance. Your brain needs to know what’s working and what isn’t so it can improve. Online training is great—I offer a ton of it—but it’s not sufficient. You need feedback from a live human being, so you know specifically where you need to improve. Feedback is just as hard to give as it is to receive, but it’s an essential part of learning. I recommend finding a mentor who is competent, dependable and driven to help facilitate your growth and provide real-time feedback.
Whether you’re a skier, author or parent, research shows that positive, immediate and constructive feedback will help you understand what you’re doing well and what you’re doing poorly so you can practice, repeat, and unconsciously master your best behavior. Otherwise, you’re just grooving bad habits deeper into your brain until you can do a terrible job without even having to think about it!