How to Really Learn Sales and Marketing Ep 287

Summary Notes


In this podcast, the speaker, reflecting on their journey from a seeker to a successful entrepreneur, challenges the conventional wisdom of heavy reliance on books for personal and professional development. They share a pivotal realization that reading extensively without executing led to no real change in their life. This prompted a shift to selectively reading and rigorously applying the principles of a few influential books, like "How to Win Friends and Influence People." The speaker emphasizes the importance of belief in one's product and genuine care for the customer in sales, over theoretical knowledge. They advocate for learning by doing, suggesting that the best way to learn sales and marketing is to actively engage in them, supplemented by a 'learning budget' for practical experience. This hands-on approach, they argue, is far more effective than attempting to absorb various strategies from books without real-world application.

Summary Notes

Personal Reading Strategy and Execution

  • Speaker A discusses their personal approach to reading and implementing knowledge.
  • They made a decision to not read another book unless they had executed everything from the previous one.
  • This led to a more selective reading strategy, focusing on fewer books but with deeper engagement.
  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is highlighted as a particularly impactful book.

My conclusion was I wouldn't read a book unless I executed everything in the book.

The quote emphasizes the speaker's commitment to applying knowledge from books into real-life actions before moving on to another book, ensuring practical use of the information gained.

And so what ended up happening next was I became very, very selective about what books I would read because I wouldn't get another book until I had felt like I had executed that.

This quote reflects the shift from reading many books to a more focused approach, where the speaker only reads a new book after fully implementing the lessons from the previous one.

I think the first book that I read a lot of times was how to make friends and influence people.

The speaker identifies "How to Win Friends and Influence People" as a significant book that they read multiple times, suggesting its value in business success.

The Role of Books in Success

  • Speaker A reflects on the timing of their reading habits in relation to their success.
  • They started reading more after achieving a certain level of financial success and having more time.
  • Speaker A acknowledges that they were a "seeker" before starting their first business, reading extensively without seeing changes in their life.
  • The realization that books sometimes offer contradictory advice led to a change in how they approached reading for personal development.

I didn't really start reading a ton until after I had made a relatively high amount of money, right?

This quote indicates that the speaker's serious engagement with reading came after achieving financial success, countering the idea that reading was the initial catalyst for their success.

And I remember realizing after six or twelve months of just reading book after book after book of self-help and personal development and all that kind of stuff, that my life was literally the same.

Speaker A reflects on the lack of tangible change in their life despite consuming a large number of self-help and personal development books, highlighting the potential disconnect between knowledge acquisition and life improvement.

And I also realized that half the books contradicted each other.

This quote captures the speaker's frustration with the contradictory nature of advice found in different books, which contributed to their decision to change their reading and implementation strategy.

The Impact of Reading on Business Success

  • Speaker A believes that the principles from "How to Win Friends and Influence People" alone can lead to phenomenal success in business.
  • They emphasize the importance of practicing the lessons from books, rather than just reading them.

If you just did nothing else in business but just practiced what is in that book, you would be phenomenally successful.

The quote suggests that the content of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is so fundamentally valuable that its sole application could lead to great success in business, emphasizing the effectiveness of the book's principles.

Personal Traits and Character Development

  • Personal traits and character are significant for personal growth and development.
  • Skills such as marketing and sales are often inquired about regarding development.

that's kind of more like personal traits and character traits and whatnot, which I think are very important for growing, developing.

The quote emphasizes the importance of personal and character traits in personal growth and development.

Learning Sales Skills

  • Speaker did not undergo formal sales training or read sales books before starting to sell.
  • Learning sales was a process of action and experience rather than study.
  • Success in sales came from practice and performance, not theoretical knowledge.

I never did a single sales training. I never read a single sales book before I started selling.

The quote highlights that the speaker learned sales through hands-on experience without formal training or reading books on the subject.

On-the-Job Experience

  • The speaker started selling without realizing it was a sales process.
  • The initial goal was to get people to sign up and pay for the gym service.
  • The concept of sales was not initially understood, the focus was purely on results.

I just started selling, and I didn't even know that what I was doing was selling.

This quote illustrates the speaker's lack of awareness that their actions constituted selling, emphasizing learning by doing.

Overcoming Procrastination

  • Deliberation and overthinking can hinder progress.
  • Direct action and experience are more beneficial than prolonged planning.
  • Productive procrastination can be misleading and unhelpful.

I think a lot of people spend way too much time in the deliberation stage, and you spend all your effort in the, I would say, like, productive procrastination space of just thinking you're getting better, but you would get so much better just doing it.

The quote suggests that action is more effective than excessive planning, which can be a form of procrastination that feels productive but isn't.

Respect and Expertise in Sales

  • Respect for the speaker's sales advice is based on their sales achievements, not their theoretical knowledge.
  • Managing successful sales teams and generating significant revenue preceded the study of sales techniques.

people now respect what I have to say about sales because I've sold so much, not because of how many books I've read on sales.

This quote indicates that the speaker's authority in sales comes from their experience and success, not from academic learning.

First Interaction with Sales Training Material

  • The speaker first engaged with sales training material after achieving success in sales.
  • While the material was useful, it did not fundamentally change the speaker's sales abilities.

That is the first time I bought a sales product... I went through it, and I was like, oh, this is good stuff. There's stuff in here that we can use. Neat. But I don't think it fundamentally changed how good I was at selling.

The quote reflects the speaker's view that while sales training material can be helpful, it is not the core of what made them successful in sales.

Conviction and Belief in Selling

  • Conviction in the product is crucial for successful selling.
  • Caring about the customer and the product's impact is more important than sales techniques.
  • Genuine belief and care facilitate the sales process.

so much of selling is about conviction. It's about how much you believe in the product.

The quote emphasizes conviction and belief in the product as the heart of effective selling, more so than technical sales skills.

Ethical Considerations in Sales

  • Belief in the product and care for prospects are often lacking in sales.
  • Cognitive dissonance arises when salespeople struggle to reconcile ethical concerns with the need to make money.
  • The conflict between personal ethics and financial obligations can make selling difficult.

The problem is, most people don't believe in their product, and they don't care about their prospects, right.

This quote points out a common issue in sales where salespeople lack belief in their product and genuine care for their customers, leading to ethical dilemmas.

Moral Obligations and Sales

  • Salespeople face moral challenges when they do not believe in their product or care for their customers.
  • Balancing ethical behavior with the need to provide for oneself or family can be challenging.

that becomes really hard for people.

The quote succinctly states the difficulty salespeople face when their need to earn money conflicts with their ethical standards.

Sales Burnout and Churn

  • Sales professionals often experience burnout when they discover the reality of the products they sell.
  • The initial enthusiasm can fade if the product doesn't live up to its promises.
  • High turnover in sales roles is attributed to selling products that salespeople don't believe in.

"And that's why a lot of sales guys get burnt out when they find out more about whatever they're selling." "And so that's why a lot of times, sales guys will start out hot and then crash just because they find out that what they were selling, what they were sold to sell, is actually not what it really is cracked up to be."

The quotes explain that salespeople often start with high enthusiasm, which can quickly diminish upon learning the true nature of their products, leading to burnout and a high rate of job turnover.

Learning Through Doing

  • The speaker advocates for acquiring new skills through practical application rather than passive learning.
  • They suggest buying a course and actively following it to learn a new skill.
  • The speaker believes that true learning occurs when knowledge is applied in real-world scenarios.

"Well, I mean, honestly, when I want to do something, what I do is I buy a course about how to do something, and then I follow the course and do it." "And I would even make the argument that you don't even truly learn it until you've applied it."

The quotes underscore the speaker's approach to learning new skills by purchasing a course and then actively engaging with the material. They emphasize that application is essential to truly understand and master a skill.

The Role of One-on-One Training

  • One-on-one training is highlighted as a valuable method for skill acquisition.
  • The speaker has personally benefited from investing in mentors who challenged their beliefs about what's possible.
  • Direct mentorship is not typically about hand-holding but rather about breaking through conceptual barriers and improving existing skills.

"The only thing I did was I spent money, one on one to get someone to train me, literally, how to click to run ads for my gym." "I think the biggest gains I've made have been from investing in people who are above me to break my beliefs about what was possible."

These quotes convey the speaker's experience with personal training and mentorship. They suggest that the most significant improvements come from learning directly from experts, which often involves challenging preconceived notions and enhancing skills through practice.

Acquiring Skills Independently

  • The speaker argues for the necessity of independently acquiring skills.
  • They acknowledge that learning new skills, such as marketing or copywriting, involves a period of trial and error.
  • The process of learning by doing means accepting that initial attempts may not be perfect.

"But for the most part, it's going to be up to you to go acquire those skills." "And most of the time, acquiring those skills comes from doing them, which means you're going to suck for a while."

The quotes highlight the speaker's belief in the importance of self-directed skill acquisition and the understanding that proficiency comes with time and practice. They accept that early efforts may not yield the best results, but this is a natural part of the learning process.

Importance of Practical Experience in Sales and Marketing

  • Practical experience is crucial to understand sales and marketing better than theoretical knowledge alone.
  • Reading books on sales and marketing can be procrastination and a false sense of accomplishment.
  • Engaging in actual selling and marketing activities will make the concepts in books more comprehensible.
  • Running ads, creating landing pages, and making phone calls are direct ways to learn marketing.

"My favorite book on sales is to get out there and start selling, right? Because if you start selling and then read a book on sales, it will make far more sense to you than trying to read a book on sales before you start selling because you won't even know what they're talking about."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's belief that practical experience in sales is more valuable than reading about it. It suggests that the knowledge gained from books will be more meaningful once someone has real-world experience.

Learning Through Failure and Budgeting for Education

  • Accepting failure as a part of the learning process is essential.
  • Allocating a specific budget for learning, or a "slush fund," can help manage the emotional impact of initial failures.
  • The amount set aside for learning depends on personal circumstances and income stability.
  • Viewing this budget as an investment in education and skills development is crucial.

"Give yourself a slush fund, right? Give yourself a learning budget, which is how much am I willing to, quote, blow this month on failure so I can learn the skills faster?"

The quote advises setting aside a budget specifically for learning and accepting that some of that budget may be lost to failure. It frames failure as an investment in acquiring skills more quickly.

Personal Experience of Success Before Extensive Reading

  • The speaker made significant money before reading many books.
  • They read around 30 books only after becoming very successful financially.
  • The speaker prioritizes action and application over extensive reading.
  • They suggest reading for specific solutions to encountered problems rather than trying to learn everything at once.

"I made most of my money before I started reading a lot of books. I would say, seriously, I read maybe 30 books before we were decimillionaires, you know what I mean?"

This quote reveals that the speaker achieved financial success before they engaged in extensive reading. It suggests that their wealth was not primarily a result of what they learned from books but from practical experience and application.

Seeking Solutions to Specific Problems

  • It's more effective to seek solutions after encountering specific problems.
  • Trying to learn about every possible solution before starting is less practical.
  • The speaker reads to address particular bottlenecks they face, rather than gaining a broad, theoretical understanding.
  • Encountering problems first provides context and relevance to the solutions sought.

"I think it's much better to encounter the problems then start seeking the solutions than trying to cover every solution to every problem before you've even started the race."

This quote advises that it is better to face problems and then look for solutions rather than trying to prepare for all possible issues beforehand. It suggests that encountering problems provides a clearer direction for what needs to be learned or solved.

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