If you were to sit down and create a fantasy sales team to compete in the market of your choice, would you add your own name to the roster? Your immediate response should be an emphatic "YES! I am a Sales Professional and sales is my game." If it wasn't, then maybe it's time to take a look at what's keeping you off your own team.Understanding What MattersThe first thing you'll realize is that the product or service you're selling isn't the most important factor in the growth equation. The goal may be to sell a specific product or service, but it's secondary to the knowledge and skill required to do the job. Do you remember Circuit City, Blockbuster Video, and Kodak? At one point in time, they were leaders in their respective markets. Unfortunately, they forgot about the distinction between the product and the process. They didn't adjust to what was happening in the market, the direction of the trends, or the advances in technology. They didn't stay relevant in a changing world and ended up losing their customers, and ultimately their businesses. It's important to stay on top of business trends and remember that today the business world moves at the same speeds as cell phones, emails, and blogs.Staying FreshStaying fresh and ahead of the curve requires a commitment to consistently pursuing information relevant to yourself as a salesperson, to your product and its application, and to your clients and customers. Do you have a process in place that ensures you're paying attention to what matters in your quest to achieve and maintain your personal and professional success? Are you making the necessary adjustments in your sales approach based on new information or technology to remain relevant to your prospects and customer's needs?
Make a CommitmentOne thing you can do to increase both your relevancy and your competitive edge is to make a commitment to staying current with news that might have an effect on you, your product or service, and your clients and customers. Most sales professionals already do this to some degree, but to stand out:Decide how much time it will take to stay on top of news and research and make a personal commitment to blocking that time out in your schedule and doing the work.Analyze your knowledge channels - both off and online - to make sure they are still the best sources available for relevant and up-to-date news and information.It's a ChoiceBusiness growth depends on a lot more than supply and demand. As a "business professional", you have the choice of being an active part of the growth cycle or sitting on the sidelines and watching someone else take your place in the game. Commit to doing the work; commit to making a valuable contribution to your customers and clients and you will be sharpening the competitive edge that invariably leads to success.