Do You Have Y
Belt in Sel

our Black

Rate Your Sales
More Of

Skills And Reach
Your Potential

by Bill Cole

   A master martial artist moves fluently, effortlessly, automatically. He responds without thinking, his coordinated moves perfectly conditioned after endless years of disciplined, focused practice. He's in the flow.
   A superstar sales professional performs deftly, smoothly, seemingly with no obvious selling techniques. But he completely knows his sales methods, is highly aware of himself and his surroundings and makes things happen. He's in the zone.
   How would you rate your selling skills? Amateur? All-Star? Professional? Hall Of Fame?
   No matter what the performance arena, there are four levels of skill attainment. Let's learn how each level works and how this knowledge can make you into a top sales pro.

Unconscious Incompetence
   At this most basic selling skill level you think you're hot, but you don't make many sales. Your skills are lousy, but you don't know they're lousy. You may be an egomaniac in major denial, with a blind spot about your poor selling skills. You're often a know-it-all, but a know-nothing - sadly, just a sales wannabee.
   This is a terrible mind-set for learning - you don't know that you don't know. You think things are just fine. This is a very dangerous place in which to find yourself. You pretend to talk the walk. But you can't talk the walk or walk the talk.

Conscious Incompetence
   At this level, you're aware that your selling methods and techniques are not stellar. In fact, your selling skills are lousy, and you know they're lousy. It doesn't mean you consciously set out to be incompetent. You're quite aware that you lack solid selling skills, but you have insufficient awareness of how to improve them.
   This is an excellent mind-set for learning - you know that you don't know, and you are motivated to do something about it.
   You may talk the walk- - but you can't walk the talk.

Conscious Competence
   At this level you realize you have solid sales skills. You are confident using various approaches and techniques, but you still often must think your way through them. You can perform "on-command" under pressure at times, but not all the time.
   This can be an excellent mind-set for learning - you know that you know, and you are confident. But this is also a less-than-optimal mind-set for performance, since you are stuck having to be mindful and deliberate in your execution. An example? Maybe you are an excellent presenter, but you don't fully trust yourself to be spontaneous, and instead write out and memorize your speech word for word. Your performance would be good, but stiff and without passion.
   You can talk the walk, but can't walk the talk without thinking.

Unconscious Competence
   Here at the highest level you can perform effortlessly, with confidence, virtually on command, under pressure, and on a regular basis. No thought whatsoever is required to perform well. You worked endlessly to achieve a high polish on your repertoire of sales methods to get to this level. You're a sales virtuoso, a peerless performer. You outsell the competition by miles.
   Sales stars are not only able to talk a good game of selling - they can back it up with outstanding sales skills- - they can talk the walk AND walk the talk.
   The "Natural Born Salesperson" would also be in this skill level, but since they're rarely able to articulate what it is that makes them so good, they often have trouble duplicating top performances. They also don't make effective sales coaches or managers, and even they had to traverse each learning skill level.
   How badly do you want to be in the Selling Hall Of Fame?
   Diligently practice your selling skills, methods and approaches. Your new excellence will catapult you closer to your potential. Then enjoy your black belt in selling.