October 29th, 2012
by Nicki Gauthier
Let’s face it; every organization needs sales to generate revenue. Leslie McClintock from Small Business by Demand Media stated it perfectly: “No matter how good your manufacturing operation is, how cutting-edge your technology is, how tight your financial goals are or how progressive and forward-thinking your management techniques are, you must still have a sales mechanism in place, or everything else is useless.”
The Four Stages of Learning (process developed by a psychologist named, Thomas Gordon):
- 1st Stage: Unconscious Incompetence (You don’t know what you don’t know) – In this first stage you don’t typically recognize the skills deficit and may not know the new skill exists or why it may be beneficial to learn it. Awareness of the lack of skill and the desire to fill the knowledge gap is necessary to move to the second stage of learning.
- 2nd Stage: Conscious Incompetence – In this stage the skills gap is known and the effort to learn the skill is beneficial. Experiencing failure is a big part of this learning stage. In the sales training discussion I attended, the use of ‘role-playing’ allowed trainees to practice the sales system in as close to real life situation as possible, therefore developing their skills and building competence.
- 3rd Stage: Conscious Competence – At this stage the sales person can use the sales system but they need to concentrate and make sure they follow it. At this stage a salesperson can make a living with the sales skills they have learned.
- 4th Stage: Unconscious Competence – After enough experience and practice, the ability to follow the sales system becomes so easy you don’t have to think about it. The comfort and confidence of the salesperson is at a new, higher level.