Learning to Unlearn
Often the best reps for a new position are those with the least sales experience. They have fewer preconceived notions about what is possible so they often do the seemingly impossible. They often outperform the veterans. Those experienced wise pros know that you can’t make that many calls a day, get that high a response rate from voice mails, or close that many sales a month. So they don’t.
Beginners, having no clue on how to sell, will listen to whomever seems to know what to do and will show & tell them what to do. They will give it their best shot. Hopefully their mentor will know what hew is talking about. Unfortunately it is almost always a veteran telling them what is not possible (anything more than they do) and regurgitating they same ineffective nonsense they were spoon fed as a new rep. Like a virulent disease, the plague spreads to another generation.
Experienced reps, when put in a new position, will naturally want to continue to do exactly what they did in the last job. Especially if they had some success. Even if they were not particularly successful, they will continue doing the same exact things out of inertia, since not having to think or change is the easiest path. They will resist any training that conflicts with their established belief system or that requires real effort. Changing habits requires both.
What worked before may not work with a different industry or product or because times have changed. The experienced rep is like a guy with a shovel trying to create a large mountain of dirt that starts at the bottom a deep hole, while the new rep starts at ground level. Who gets there first?
The hole is the habits and slothful behavior carried forward from previous positions. It can be instantly filled by discarding those beliefs and behaviors, by giving the benefit of the doubt to new ideas. Easier said than done but doable nonetheless. Certainly not impossible.
So how does one unlearn? First by realizing that unlearning is infinitely more difficult than learning. Unlearning goes against millions of years of genetic programming. People that try new things and think new thoughts risk failure and do indeed fail. Failure means death. Death is not good. Therefore change is not good. Anything you do that does not kill you can safely be done again.
Even if no good comes out of the behaviors or actions if you don’t die, it’s all pie. You can believe any idiotic nonsensical theory you want or feel compelled to believe by society and your culture and sail merrily through life as a hapless clueless idiot. So people do just that. Almost all of them. Thus the world you see and the life you live…
Unlearning means admitting and accepting (at least to yourself) that you are doing the wrong things. That what you thought was the way to go led you off a cliff. That your were wrong. This latter idea is impossible as we are, of course, always right. It’s only others who are wrong. The guy driving too slow in front of you is an asshole and the guy tailgating you is a maniac. What they have in common is they are both wrong.
This is why 99% of sales reps learn how to be losers (thanks to on-the-job training) and remain that way regardless of any actually effective training that comes fortuitously their way. They would rather save face, than make money to feed their face.
All you have to do is join the top 1% who dare to think for themselves, admit they are wrong more often than right, think, try new ideas, tell their society and culture to screw off, go your own way, suffer and enjoy the consequences, and so on.
That’s why only 1 in 100 live at the top.
Yet at the same time, it’s so easy… It’s a paradigm shift away. An alternate reality that coincides with the one you inhabit now. A simple shift in frequency and you are there. You just have to really want to change and commit to pay whatever price is required. Visualize what you want your future self and life to be, own it now, and it arrives.