Controlling Your Sales Destiny – Tip #7: Get Some Skin in the Game

This is the seventh in a series of posts about taking control of your sales destiny and achieving sales success.

Tip #7: Get Some Skin in the Game

“Get some skin in the game” is an old expression that you don’t hear that often.  It means invest some of your own money in a venture or task or assignment.  In the case of this post, it means investing some of your own hard-earned cash on your sales education and development.

Here are some examples:

  • Buy a book on selling (or time management or goal setting or anything that will help you improve and succeed.)
  • Purchase some CDs or DVDs.
  • Pay for a download for a sales site or subscribe to a paid newsletter.
  • Fork out a few bucks to attend a workshop or tele-seminar.
  • Invest in a coach.
  • Do something, anything … that can help improve your skill or knowledge.

Two Important things:  First, don’t expect your company to do all the heavy lifting.  Don’t expect them to invest in training for you at the drop of a hat.  If you need training, invest in yourself.  Second, and perhaps more significantly, when YOU risk YOUR money, you are more apt to want an ROI.  Typically you feel compelled to read that book or listen to that MP3 or try a new technique. You pay closer attention.   You try a little harder.

(Hey, here’s an idea: suppose you see a workshop with a larger than usual price tag.  Approach your boss and say, “Hey boss, I’ll pay for half if you pay for half.” )

Skin in the game also applies to time.  Invest the time to learn.  Schedule it. Stick to it. It’s the difference between good intention and implementation.

Action Items

Action #1:  Create a learning budget.  Put twenty bucks aside every week or every two weeks.  That’s $40 – $80 per month to spend on knowledge based items.  That’s a lot cheaper than college or university but it’s just as significant.

Action #2: Read, listen or use what you’ve bought.  Sometimes it gets easy to fork out the investment and then put it aside.  Budget 30 minutes a day to read, listen and use.

Action #3:  Try the techniques right away. Don’t wait till ‘next Monday.’  Try it right away.  And then give it a fighting chance and apply the skill or techniques twenty or thirty times.  That will help you develop a degree of mastery.

Summary

It’s up to you to shape your sales destiny.  If you invest in yourself, you are investing in your own personal development, growth and success.  Makes cents, eh?! (Forgive the clever little pun … it should be ‘sense.’)

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