Sellers have to invest the time and effort to think about their future and anticipate what it will hold for them.
How will your markets, buyers, companies and careers be disrupted and transformed by rapidly changing technologies and evolving buying behaviors?
What will you have to learn today to be ready for tomorrow?
I’ve spent a lot time reading and thinking about this. And, I’ll admit that my crystal ball is cloudy at best.
Nonetheless, here’s a couple things I believe the future will require from you as a sales professional.
That’s a phrase coined by author and futurist Geoffrey Colvin in his book “Humans Are Underrated.”
It means that you have to double down on mastering the uniquely human skills that machines can’t replicate.
It may seem simple, but as automation increasingly assumes a larger role in your daily personal and work lives, mastering these skills will become a key differentiator for you.
Among these uniquely human skills are:
If you want a career in sales, you’ll have no choice in this. The ability to become more intensely human will continue to become an increasingly necessary, and valuable, asset.
“Never have so many people had access to so much knowledge, and yet been so resistant to learning anything.” That’s from Tom Nichols in his excellent book, The Death of Expertise.
The problem is that everyone has learned yesterday’s lessons and then switched off. You can’t let that happen to you. You can’t take your foot off the learning accelerator.
My favorite quote about learning is from Thomas Huxley, a 19th century author.
Huxley wrote that in life you should “Try to learn something about everything. And everything about something.” I credit much of my success to the wisdom of Huxley. It inspired me early in my career. It’s such amazing advice that you can’t go wrong following it.
“Something about everything?” That means being interested in everything that’s happening around you. It means consuming information about, well, everything. The economy, business, politics, popular culture, technology, trends. Everything.
It will be incredibly valuable knowledge to possess at moments that you can’t anticipate now.
“Everything about something?” This means to proactively learn everything you can about sales. It requires you to become an absolute specialist in selling. And how your customers make decisions and buy.
Being a sales specialist doesn’t just mean you are hitting quota. It means that you could teach a course in selling. That you could be the authority that others look to.
To reach that point you must voraciously consume information about sales, decision making, psychology, influence, leadership, AI, technology and much more.
You can’t hide from your future. You’re already living it.
Your future started today. Don’t sit on sidelines and watch it pass you by.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.