Following up on my previous post about the different types of sales training, I want to go into the subject of self help books and trade publications.
Would you believe me if I told you that there are a lot of people in the world who are smarter than you?
I know…I’m sorry for bursting your bubble.
But it’s true. And that’s OK. Because many of them have written books based on their experience and lifetime of knowledge. And even better they come from all walks of life.
That means that these books are a repository of information from their successes and failures. So to pass up the opportunity to learn from them is a mistake in my own opinion.
I personally love to read and believe that reading as much as I can is a valuable use of my time.
But I know not everyone is a “reader”. Some people simply don’t like sitting down for hours to read. That’s OK because you could always try audio books to listen to when you’re sitting in traffic (for anyone not living in Los Angeles this may not be a norm like it is for us), flying in a plane, or even while working out.
The point is that you should spend as much time as you can, everyday, reading so called “self help books” and trade publications.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Reading
Not only should you read, but you should strive to make everything you read stick more. To be honest, I read most books only once. So I want to make sure I get as much out of them as I can.
But often times how much I am able to retain from a book depends on a variety of factors. For example, am I reading the book for fun or is it required reading for my sales team? Am I genuinely interested in the subject or is it outside of my normal reading?
No matter why you are reading there are two techniques I often use to get the most out of what I am trying to learn.
The first technique I use is to “go deep” with in a topic.
For example, lets say you are interested in learning more about how to give better public speeches. A noble endeavor for any sales person.
If you go the route of going deep into the subject you would read as many books, articles, and publications as you can find on public speaking.
You would focus your reading on a very specific subject matter and try to master those points. Believe me this works.
The other option is to read broadly on a topic. Instead of going deep on a subject, you go wide.
Using the example above instead of reading solely on public speaking you might read about great orators such as Abraham Lincoln, or Martin Luther King Jr.
Or you might read about body language and the messages that are conveyed while you are shifting your weight in front of an audience, or what your nervous ticks are really saying.
You could also read about about the psychology of words or emotional conversations. Focusing on how to use your words carefully to trigger certain emotions.
On a similar point, another option is to read about personality types. When you understand the different personality types you’re likely to run into (there’s only four) you’ll learn that the words you use are more effective in a conversation to one type compared to another.
And adapting to each personality type is important. For example, I might change the words I use from “do you see how this will help your job” to “do you feel how this will help your job” or “do you hear how this will help your job”.
These are examples of reading broadly and widely. The direction I prefer to take when seeking more knowledge around a certain topic.
The First Step Is To Start
No matter which method you pursue, there are 1,000’s and 1,000’s of books available for you to study. So get out there and learn something new.
I’ve listed a few of my favorite books below. (Disclaimer: these are Amazon affiliate links, if you buy them through my link I will get a commission on it.)
If you haven’t already I highly recommend you read each and every one of these books. They have drastically changed my life and I believe they can do the same to you.
To your success!
Image courtesy of Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net