In sales (and in anything else you’ve ever learned in life,) you will proceed through FOUR very distinct phases. They are:
1) unconsciously-unknowledgeable: you don’t know what you don’t know (This is a state of bliss! How can you be concerned about anything you truly don’t know about?)
2) consciously-unknowledgeable: you start to understand how much you don’t know (This is the ‘shock phase’ where you quickly find out there’s a lot more than ‘meets the eye.’)
3) consciously-knowledgeable: you start to understand what you didn’t know (This can be a ‘dangerous’ phase as all of your attention is usually focused on YOU!)
4) unconsciously-knowledgeable: you don’t even have to think about what you know (This is when Mastery can begin… When you literally can spend your time focusing outward versus inward.)
A real life example
I’ve used the following example to explain how you proceed through these for phases. The reason I include it in this sales training is that you will experience many different emotions in
sales, and knowing where you are in the process often helps you deal with frustrations you will encounter along the way, and also to explain why you may start experiencing success beyond your wildest dreams!
Driver’s Education- a real life example
For many of us, drivers education represented the very first time we were handed the keys to drive! I can still remember my first time. The instructor pulled over on the side of the road (we were out at the city park) and slowly got out of the car. “Chris, it’s your turn!” YIKES! Was I NERVOUS! You see, at this point, I was unconsciously-unknowledgeable about driving. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, other than what I’d seen while growing up. I didn’t know I had to adjust the mirror ‘just right’ and make sure the seat enabled me to sit appropriately to handle all the controls. And then, I had to actually observe virtually everything going on while talking to my instructor and the other kids in the car!
But in an instant, I became consciously-unknowledgeable. I quickly found out how much I hadn’t known, and I was in real shock!
Proceeding through that summer, as I gained training and experience, I eventually passed on through to becoming consciously-knowledgeable, and within months of driving ‘full-time’ probably qualified as unconsciously- knowledgeable. Is it any wonder, however, why there are so many accidents just after kids get their licenses? As they are consciously knowledgeable- at BEST, they are spending most of their time focused on themselves, not the traffic and continuous stream of events happening around them.
Your Sales Career
Chances are, if you’ve never been involved in sales before, you’re now unconsciously-unknowledgeable; however, you’ve come to the right place! Because in my opinion, most ‘salespeople’ never truly learn the art of sales, thus they don’t pass through the four learning phases… They REMAIN IN NUMBER ONE!
As you proceed through this training and start your sales endeavor, you spend most of your first few weeks trying to figure things out. If you’re normal, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed with all the different skill-sets you’ll need to develop (product training usually being the one your company will train you the most on.)
But be patient! Within a few months (depending on your learning curve,) you’ll soon start to get into your groove, and if you apply the training in my courses, will start seeing results. The frustration during this period (of consciously-knowledgeable) is that you will miss objections and signs from your prospects because you will still be focusing on yourself, not your client.
But soon, once you pass the learning curve, you’ll hopefully become what we call a “lethal” salesperson; someone who can put his/her focus COMPLETELY on the prospect. The only way you can be in complete control of the demo is to have 100% of your attention on your Prospect or Prospects. By not having to worry about what you’re going to say or do next, you can spend all your time listening to your prospect and anticipating objections.
Could you imagine if Michael Jordan had remained in the consciously- knowledgeable phase during his professional career! There’s no way he could have been the player he was if he’d still been spending all his time focusing on himself! You can bet his mind was at least 3 steps ahead of the competition at all times. This guy was operating in the unconsciously- knowledgeable zone (many people would say he operated on a completely different plane of consciousness).