Moving the Needle With Chris Stock

I often say “everything is sales.” Getting a job is sales. Applying for an apartment is sales. Heck, even dating is sales. So I believe it’s a good idea to be trained in sales.

 

“But Chris,” I can hear you say, “you’re a sales expert. Of course you think I should be trained for sales.”

 

Fair point, but regardless of what we’d like to do, it’s my belief that we need skills and education to be successful. So this installment isn’t just about sales, but why business education is a good idea.

 

LESSONS FROM THE SKI SLOPE: MOTIVATION IS KEY

 

As a 20-year old, I knew everything and had all the answers. I wanted to be a ski instructor. I didn’t need school. I would go to a ‘dry’ ski slope five times a week to qualify to teach. Next season I went to work as a ski instructor in the French Alps.

 

Returning from my first season, I was 21. I had matured and grown and had experienced life and death. But most of all, this experience taught me I knew nothing. At this stage in my life, experience was better than any university education.

 

It wasn’t until ten years later, when I was on the management track at Intel, that I realized all the senior executives had MBAs. I didn’t even have a Bachelor’s degree - I had gone skiing.

 

But this motivated me, and this is the key. If I wanted to be a senior exec, I needed an MBA. The MBA didn’t lead me to becoming a senior VP, but it did open doors and allowed me to start my own sales training and consulting business in 2004.

 

MAXIMIZE YOUR POTENTIAL

 

Even if you don’t want to become a senior exec, there are plenty of reasons to be educated. Just like we wouldn’t expect a racing car to perform its best with low-grade fuel, we need to fill our brain with high-octane knowledge and skills to perform our best.

 

The beauty of learning in a classroom or workshop setting is that the downsides are mitigated. Instead of blowing a big deal to learn a lesson, make your mistakes in the classroom where they can be addressed in a friendly and collegiate environment.

 

LARGE IMPLICATIONS; LASTING EFFECTS

 

Good education isn’t narrowly helpful. Anything worth learning will have wide-ranging effects.

 

I began training NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) as the topic for my MBA thesis and gained powerful sales skills. I quickly found out that NLP skills are applicable to much more than sales.

 

Now I use NLP every day in my personal and business relationships, with my coaching clients, and to help myself when I need a psychological boost. Not only has NLP made me more successful, it’s made me a better partner, a better friend, a better boss, and, ultimately, it’s made me, and those around me, a lot happier.

 

‘Moving the Needle’ is a monthly column where sales expert Chris Stock shares tips, tools, and strategies focused on increasing profitability for business professionals.