How You Learn Is As Important As What You Learn

My boy Mike Kunkle had one of the best posts on learning and sales advice I’ve seen in a long time. If you’re about improvement and getting better and find yourself overwhelmed by all the sales books, tips, tricks, advice and consultation out there, his post will relieve some of your anxiety.

This is the money quote:

Advice about how to figure out what works for you, is far more valuable than advice about what to do.

Mike nails this.

I know, coming from a guy who doles out more than his share of advice, tips and advice,  you’d think I’d fall on the other side of this argument, but I don’t.

What I like about what Mike is saying is that every environment is different and it’s incumbent upon us that we embrace the nuances of our unique environment when taking sales or sales leadership advice.

Mike is a rather black and white guy with a very analytical mind, so reading between the lines is critical when reading his stuff and this post is no different. For example, there are certain core elements to selling that cross all aspects of sales, regardless of the industry, complexity, customer type etc. Jill Konrath’s book S.N.A.P Selling illustrates this the best. Her focus on trigger events, value propositions, understanding decision processes etc. are universal. Context plays a role in her advice, but t0 a very small degree. Her advice is universal and that’s what makes it so good. I don’t think Mikes advice plays well with universal or core elements of sales.

I’ve been a proponent of what I call deliberate learning for a long time. Deliberate learning starts with the recognition of a gap in ones skills or knowledge and developing a learning or growth plan to overcome the gap. At the core of filling the gap are blogs, training, books, etc. We can’t get better without the absorption of new information or knowledge.

Therefore, the key takeaway in Mikes post is alignment. Mike advocates understanding how the information or advice we’re getting fits with our unique and special circumstances. It’s sound advice. Build a filter that strains all the information, content, approaches, and ideas through your world. Read everything from the perspective of, how does this work in my world?  Ask, how would my clients respond to this? How does my sales cycle affect this? How can this improve what I’m doing now? How does this contrast to what I’m doing today?

The better your filter is, the more you’ll get from the information, the better your learning experience will be.

Let’s make no mistakes. In spite of Mike’s title. His post isn’t about “tips, tricks and advice.” It’s about learning and you control your own learning.

Learn how to learn, it’s a key skill.